Astronomers See Faintest, Furthest Galaxy

Image of faint, distant galaxy
The image of this faint, distant galaxy was split into three by a gravitational lens. By comparing the spectra of three images (white boxes), astronomers could show they were all the same object 13 billion light years away. Credit: Marusa Bradac/Hubble Space Telescope/W. M. Keck Observatory

A team of scientists led by two UC Davis physicists has detected and confirmed the faintest early-universe galaxy yet. This new object, seen as it was about 13 billion years ago, could help astronomers understand the “reionization epoch” when the first stars became visible. Gravitational lensing and a special instrument on the 10-meter telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, enabled the team to see the incredibly faint object. Read more at UC Davis News.