Astronomers Spot Oldest Galaxy Yet
It's 13.3 billion years old, nearly as old as the universe
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2012 1:23 PM CST
Updated Nov 16, 2012 1:40 PM CST
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(Newser) – Our universe is a mind-boggling 13.7 billion years old, and now astronomers say they have found a galaxy that has been around since the universe was a spry 420 million years old, reports LiveScience. Called MACS0647-JD, the 13.3-billion-year-old galaxy is tiny, cosmically speaking, just 600 light years wide (compared to, say, 150,000 light years for our Milky Way), and astronomers believe it is the most distant object seen in the universe.

"This object may be one of many building blocks of a galaxy," says the lead scientist. "Over the next 13 billion years, it may have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of merging events with other galaxies and galaxy fragments." The discovery was made as part of a program that uses a cluster of galaxies so massive their gravity warps space-time to act as a natural lens and boost telescopes' power. MACS0647-JD was first spotted by the Hubble telescope, then confirmed by the Spitzer telescope, which can scan the heavens in infrared. The new galaxy takes the title of "most distant galaxy" away from the 12.91-billion-year-old galaxy sighted in June.

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Nov 21, 2012 1:44 PM CST
Besides the Milkyway galaxy estimated to be between 13.5 and 13.7 billion years old, which would make it older than this farthest galaxy.
Nov 21, 2012 10:13 AM CST
The consideration of the Big Bang occurring at a single point is that of its one dimensional condition in SpaceTime; i.e. existence had yet to unfold upon the notion of its traditional fourth dimensional condition. In other words, the traditional fourth dimensional SpaceTime condition always existed and our created matter is just filling the void. Per the hypothesis, "The galaxy — or mini-galaxy, as NASA is calling it — is thought to have been just 100 million to 200 million years old when its light began the 13.2 billion light-year journey to Hubble's lens." As I see it, the current Spacetime distance and its relevance to a creation time per the Big Bang do not necessarily map along this logic. After existence unfolded into its traditional fourth dimensional condition (everywhere at the same time), matter began to evolve/form into larger conglomerations based on the uneven distribution of matter. Whenever and where-ever this farthest galaxy formed, relevant to our SpaceTime position, it has been traveling away from us consistent with the accelerating environment of our universal inflation/expansion. The fact that it can be detected at a distance of 13.2 billion light years from us, is a reference that the light emitting objects within the galaxy were shining at this time of its distance from us. In other words – as a purely hypothetical example - it may have been formed 6 some billion years ago (at a considered time of 7 to 8 billion years after the Big Bang) at a distance of 10 billion light years from us and continued to emit light while it was accelerating away from us. So from our perspective, 2 billion years ago we might have detected its light at a distance of 10 billion light years from us. Now we are detecting this light at a distance of 13.2 light years because we have been moving apart from each other. So the distance to this farthest galaxy does not tell us when the galaxy was formed relative to the event of the Big Bang; for it this were the case, we would have to come up with a theory in which fourth dimensional SpaceTime was expanding relative to its unfolding from a single dimensional condition.
Nov 17, 2012 7:29 PM CST
there was a time when we looked at the oceans horizon and thought it was the end of the world and we were so smart to figure that out......things havent changed much in the last 1000 years. so how big is big and how old is old and how clueless is our intelligence