Hawaii telescope sees what could be oldest galaxy

Jun 11, 2012

A team of Japanese astronomers using telescopes on Hawaii say they've seen the oldest galaxy, a discovery that's competing with other "earliest galaxy" claims.

The Japanese team calculates its galaxy was formed 12.91 billion years ago, and their research will be published in the . The scientists with the of Japan used the Subaru and Keck telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea.

Richard Ellis of the California Institute of Technology, an influential expert in cosmology and , said the latest work as more convincing than some other galaxy discoveries.

He said the Japanese claim is more "watertight," using methods that everyone can agree on. But he said it's not much of a change from a similar finding by the same team last year.

Still, "it's the most distant bullet-proof one that everybody believes," Ellis said.

In 2010, a French team using NASA's claimed to have discovered a galaxy from 13.1 billion years ago and last year a California team using Hubble said they saw a galaxy that is 13.2 billion light years away. Both Hubble teams published findings in the .

However, the two Hubble teams have yet to confirm their findings with other methods, said Ellis. Also, a team of Arizona State University astronomers this month claimed to have found a galaxy from 13 billion light years away. They used a telescope in Chile.

Current theory holds that the universe was born of an explosion, called the Big Bang, about 13.7 billion years ago. So astronomers using the most powerful telescopes available are peering deeper and deeper into that dawn of the universe.

Explore further: Violent origins of disc galaxies probed by ALMA

Journal reference: Astrophysical Journal search and more info website Nature search and more info website

3.8 /5 (5 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ancient white dwarf stars

Nov 03, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Pushing the limits of its powerful vision, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope uncovered the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy in this image from 2002. These extremely old, dim "clockwork ...

Hubble zooms in on a magnified galaxy

Feb 02, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Thanks to the presence of a natural "zoom lens" in space, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope got a uniquely close-up look at the brightest "magnified" galaxy yet discovered.

Recommended for you

Violent origins of disc galaxies probed by ALMA

3 hours ago

For decades scientists have believed that galaxy mergers usually result in the formation of elliptical galaxies. Now, for the the first time, researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter ...

The entropy of black holes

Sep 12, 2014

Yesterday I talked about black hole thermodynamics, specifically how you can write the laws of thermodynamics as laws about black holes. Central to the idea of thermodynamics is the property of entropy, which c ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Falcon41
5 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2012
Wow!