Hawaii telescope sees what could be oldest galaxy

June 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: Trick of Nature Allows Hubble and Keck to Find Tiny Galaxy

Related Stories

Trick of Nature Allows Hubble and Keck to Find Tiny Galaxy

October 5, 2007

A team of astronomers at the University of California at Santa Barbara report that they have resolved a dwarf galaxy 6 billion light-years away. Weighing only 1/100 as much as our Milky Way Galaxy, the dwarf is much smaller ...

Ancient white dwarf stars

November 3, 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 stars" provide ...

Spitzer and Hubble telescopes find rare galaxy at dawn of time

December 21, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes have discovered that one of the most distant galaxies known is churning out stars at a shockingly high rate. The blob-shaped galaxy, called GN-108036, ...

Hubble zooms in on a magnified galaxy

February 2, 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

How to prepare for Mars? NASA consults Navy sub force

October 5, 2015

As NASA contemplates a manned voyage to Mars and the effects missions deeper into space could have on astronauts, it's tapping research from another outfit with experience sending people to the deep: the U.S. Navy submarine ...

Researchers find a new way to weigh a star

October 5, 2015

Researchers from the University of Southampton have developed a new method for measuring the mass of pulsars – highly magnetised rotating neutron stars formed from the remains of massive stars after they explode into supernovae.

NASA selects investigations for future key planetary mission

October 1, 2015

NASA has selected five science investigations for refinement during the next year as a first step in choosing one or two missions for flight opportunities as early as 2020. Three of those chosen have ties to NASA's Jet Propulsion ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (3) Jun 11, 2012

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.