Newly Found Galaxy Is Oldest One Yet
It emerged about 700 million years after the Big Bang
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2013 4:54 PM CDT
File photo of deep space, as captured by the Hubble Telescope.   (AP Photo/NASA, European Space Agency)

(Newser) – Residents of the Milky Way, meet z8_GND_5296. That's the not-so-great name of a newly discovered galaxy that just happens to be the most distant—and thus oldest—ever spotted, reports CBS News. Scientists say it formed a mere 700 million years after the Big Bang, and it could shed further light on how the universe came to be. The BBC adds this little mind-bender: "Because it takes light so long to travel from the outer edge of the universe to us, the galaxy appears as it was 13.1 billion years ago."

Not mind-bending enough? Try this from the Washington Post: "We’re looking 95 percent of the way back to the Big Bang. To put that into human terms, that would be like an 80-year-old watching a video of himself on his fourth birthday." The discovery comes courtesy of images taken by the Hubble Telescope and follow-up analysis by astronomers at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii. One weird quirk of the galaxy: It produces stars at a much faster clip than our own, a trait that might have been more typical in the early days of the universe. So can we go even further back? In principle, yes, explains National Geographic, but we'll need bigger telescopes.

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United
Oct 27, 2013 10:16 AM CDT
What is the difference in a
hog_one
Oct 26, 2013 3:31 AM CDT
Just a thought or maybe I'm just thinking too much. But if the galaxy was formed 700 million years after the big bang and accorrding to some scientist, the universe is ever expanding, wouldn't that put z8_GND_5296 closer to earth? I only say this based upon the fact you have two cars start from the same location. One goes North and one goes South. Say each secound is a billion years, car A drives North for 8 sec. How far is car A from car B at that time? Then car B drives South for 5 sec. How far apart are they then? So wouldn't the light from car A be younger then 13 sec.? Because the speed of light is suppose tobe constant. Thus the light from car A would only be at its' oldest 8 sec. or 8 billion years and not 13 billion. In fact wouldn't it be younger than that? Because the speed at which light travels is faster than the moving galaxy. Like I said, maybe I'm thinking too much.
Grokthat
Oct 25, 2013 8:37 AM CDT
"Because it takes light so long to travel from the outer edge of the universe to us, the galaxy appears as it was 13.1 billion years ago." This event pre-dates Earth's existence by about 8 billion years. Yet we coalesced as a planet and life evolved in time to catch the show.