Farthest known galaxy spotted by NASA

An intensive survey deep into the universe by NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes has yielded the image of the galaxy named SPT0615-JD. It is a primitive star cluster just 500 million years old. The galaxy is 13.3 billion years old. In comparison, the universe is only 13.7 billion years old. Therefore the light from this galaxy has been travelling to us for almost the whole of the history of the universe. The galaxy is so very massively distanced that a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing has caused it to get amplified and stretched out.

Primitive galaxies have been known to this effect. But they mostly appear as red dots due to their small size and great distance.

However here, the gravitational field is so massive that it smears the image into an arc.

“No other candidate galaxy has been found at such a great distance that also gives you the spatial information that this arc image does,” said Brett Salmon of the Space Telescope Science Institute in the US.

Mr Salmon said,”By analysing the effects of gravitational lensing on the image of this galaxy, we can determine its actual size and shape.”

This galaxy is massively distanced that it startled experts with its images.

“This cluster does what no manmade telescope can do,” Marc Postman of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., said in a statement unveiling the discovery today (Nov. 15). “Without the magnification, it would require a Herculean effort to observe this galaxy.” Postman leads the Cluster Lensing And Supernova Survey with Hubble (CLASH), which performed the study.

This has broken all previous records of observation held by the Hubble space telescope.

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