Astronomers have detected an ultra-distant galaxy, which is nearly 13.1 billion years old and is giving some significant glimpses into the early universe.

Regardless of various advancements in science and technology, the formation of the universe is yet poorly understood by scientists. However, as per the most widely accepted theory – Chronology – all the matters of the universe was created during one ultra-explosive event, took place some 13.7 billion years ago, and the event is named as the Big Bang. Though the existing theory of Chronology described a lot of factors about the early universe and its formation, scientists are still in search of more evidence and proofs that can decode assorted secrets that the cosmos is still trouncing. In such an attempt, a team of astronomers have stumbled upon an ultra-distance galaxy, which is said to be 13.1 billion years old – a period just 700 after the Big Bang.

A team of astronomers from the University of California, Davis has hit upon one of the most oldest and distant galaxies in the universe which belong to nearly 13.1 billion years in the past – a period which witnessed the formation of the premature universe. The breakthrough is expected to pave new paths for the exploration of the manifold secrets that scientists across the world are seeking answers, related to the birth and evolution of the cosmos.

The new distant galaxy, dubbed as MACS1423-z7p64, is at a redshift of 7.6, which puts it some 13.1 billion years in the past. To come across such weak, far-off objects, the astronomers from the University of California took help of the large lens in the sky. As light crosses by a gigantic celestial object like a galaxy cluster, the path of the rays gets twisted by the force of gravity, just as light curved while crossing through a lens. When the celestial object is big enough, it can perform as a lens that expands the picture of objects following it.

These ultra-distant galaxies are expected to born so close to the initial period of the universe, and are highly interesting to explore because they fall within the ‘Epoch of Reionisation” – an era nearly one billion years following the Big Bang when the universe turned into translucent. Researchers have confirmed the distance of the galaxy by analysing its range by using the Keck Observatory telescopes, located in Hawaii.

After the Big Bang, the universe became a cloud containing arctic atomic hydrogen, which encumbrances light. After some million years, the first stars and galaxies escaped from the cloud and began emitting light and ionising emission and this radiation thaw out the atomic hydrogen and enabled the first galaxies to spread their beam throughout the universe.

The details of the galaxy were published in the journal Nature Astronomy over this weekend.


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