EU astronomers claim they discovered oldest, most distant galaxy

ITN News report

European astronomers said they have found the oldest and most distant galaxy so far, reports the AP. In a study published on October 20, a "small smudge of light," was seen in a photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, and is believed to be a galaxy from 13.1 billion years ago. At the time, the universe was about 600 million years old--"very young" according to the AP.

Now, the galaxy named UDFy-38135539 probably no longer exists in its earlier form. It may have already "merged into bigger neighbors," the AP cited Paris Observatory’s Matthew Lehnert, lead author of the study published in science journal Nature.

Lehnert said in a Discovery.com report, "UDFy-38135539 was already a challenge and perhaps we won’t be able to do much better than it for a while." About four years ago, the most distant galaxy found at the time was calculated to have existed 750 million years after the Big Bang. In comparison, the current record holder is said to have formed "within 600 million years of the universe’s creation," Discovery.com reports.

For more on this story, log on to Yahoo News, Nature.com and Discovery.com.

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