California Institute of Technology (Caltech) astronomers discovered the oldest galaxy so far, 13.2 billion years old, almost as old as the Universe, they said. It is currently the oldest and most distant ever discovered. It’s said to have come into existence soon after the Big Bang.
This particular galaxy has been dubbed EGS8p7. Scientific evidence shows it’s approximately 13.2 billion years old. Moreover, the cosmos being 13.8 billion years old, it seems that this newly-revealed galaxy is almost as old as the Universe.
Thanks to professional telescopes, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Hubble, astronomers were able to capture accurate images of the EGS8p7. The galaxy is rather bright and could help unveil mysteries regarding the early development of the Universe.
One of the representatives of the project, Sirio Belli, explained that: “the galaxy we have observed, EGS8p7, which is unusually luminous, may be powered by a population of unusually hot stars and it may have special properties.” Moreover, the EGS8p7 is atypical to several galaxies also discovered to have dated back to approximately those ancient times, due to the bubbles of ionized hydrogen the EGS8p7 created.
The scientific team intends to determine its redshift. Redshift means measuring the distance in between galaxies by monitoring the light emitted by celestial objects.
Moreover, after the Big Bang, the Universe couldn’t emit photons due to charged particles being scattered. But after 380,000 years, light started traversing the cosmos, due to neutral hydrogen atoms that enable the cooling of the Universe.
A NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Scholar in Astronomy, Adi Zitrin, stated that
“we expect that most of the radiation from this galaxy would be absorbed by the hydrogen in the intervening space.”
However, Lyman Alpha can still be seen from the EGS8p7.
Moreover, the Lyman Alpha is characterized by a spectral line of hydrogen, as the spectral line is derived from either an excess or a deficiency of photons in a narrow frequency range.
The MOSFIRE spectrometer was used by scientist to define the wavelength of the Lyman Alpha. The Lyman Alpha series pointed out that the galaxy appears to be faint, with its redshift being 8.68.
Zitrin finally pointed out that he and his team wanted to analyze the evolutionary process of the universe by taking a closer look at the EGS8p7, as he stated that
“we are currently calculating more thoroughly the exact chances of finding this galaxy and seeing this emission from it.”
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