Updated 03:39 AM EDT, Thu, Oct 28, 2021

Astronomers Discover Farthest Galaxy in The Universe Yet! What Is It Like Out There?

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The distance of a galaxy which may have formed 670 million years (or less) after the 13.7 billion-year-old universe came to existence has been measured by astronomers via the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, Mashable reported.

As cited by the outlet, this is the farthest known galaxy today, clocked at least 13 billion light-years away.

If we are to convert this figure, we get an unimaginable distance of 7.64221298513869e+22 miles. To determine how far a lightyear is in miles, the speed of light (in miles) is multiplied to the length of a year in seconds, Universe Today explained.

This astonishing galaxy, called EGS-zs8-1, is originally identified by images taken with the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, Popular Science noted. The celestial configuration is described to be a luminous cluster of rapidly-forming stars.

Considering that light from this galaxy would take 13 billion years before reaching our eyes, Popular Science tells that "we're actually seeing back in time, to when this star cluster first formed."

The outlet took note of Pascal Oesch's remarks, lead author of the study, who said, "While we saw the galaxy as it was 13 billion years ago, it had already built more than 15 percent of the mass of our own Milky Way today."

According to NASA, the astronomers also identified that EGS-zs8-1 has continued forming stars "very rapidly" -- about 80 times faster than our Milky Way galaxy does today.

Pieter van Dokkum, co-author of the study, expressed, "Every confirmation adds another piece to the puzzle of how the first generations of galaxies formed in the early universe. Only the most sensitive telescopes are powerful enough to reach to these large distances."

As it turns out, the discovery is attributed to the abilities of the Multi-Object Spectrometer For Infra-Red Exploration (MOSFIRE) instrument on the Keck I telescope. NASA said this permits astronomers to study several galaxies simultaneously and efficiently.

As told by The New York Times, the galaxy is located "more than a few billion light-years" on the other side of the northern constellation Boötes. Based on standard cosmological calculations, the galaxy is said to be 30 billion light-years away.

Garth Illingworth, another study co-author, described the galaxy (via the Los Angeles Times), "It's really a galaxy in its infancy... when the universe was in its infancy."

"If it was a galaxy near the Milky Way [today], it would be this vivid blue color, just because it's forming so many stars," Illingworth added.

Based on observations recorded by Keck, Spitzer and Hubble, the stars within EGS-zs8-1 are estimated to be "between 100 [million] and 300 million years old," Space.com reported.

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