Space.com writes that astronomers have discovered the most distant (and oldest) galaxy ever seen. The GN-z11 galaxy does not have a spectacular name, but it looks very special.
Led by Nobunari Kashikawa, a professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Tokyo, astronomers are working to find a galaxy that will determine when and how the universe formed. “From previous studies, the GN-Z11 galaxy appears to be 13.4 billion light-years or 134 kilometers away (the furthest galaxy we can detect (i.e., 134 consecutive 30 zeros,” Kashikawa said. If further observations confirm their discovery, GN- z11 will officially become the most distant galaxy ever observed.
“But measuring and checking such a distance is not an easy task,” he said. To determine how far GN-Z11 is from Earth, Kashikawa’s team studied the galaxy’s red change – how far light extends. , In other words, it shifted toward the red end of the electromagnetic spectrum due to the Doppler effect. In general, the farther away an object is from Earth, the more light will move toward the red end of the spectrum. In addition, the team analyzed GN-z11 emission lines – chemical signatures that can be seen in the light from space objects.
By studying these signatures in detail, the team was able to determine how far light had to travel from the GN-Z11 before it reached us. “We especially looked at ultraviolet light because it was part of the electromagnetic spectrum and we expected the chemical signatures to turn red,” Kashikawa remarked. -Z11 “. However, ”even Hubble could not determine the transmission lines we needed. So to measure the emission lines, we turned to a modern underground spectrograph called MOSFIRE from the Keck I Telescope in Hawaii. The new study was published in the December 14 issue of the journal Nature Astronomy.