The Hubble Space Telescope detected light from a star that was in a distant galaxy about 900 million years after the Big Bang. At a distance of 12.9 billion light-years, this is the most distant star the telescope has ever seen.
Astronomers named the newly discovered star Irandel, which means morning star in Old English. Despite the higher magnification, a gravitational lensing shows that Earndel is a point-like object in a galaxy 12.9 billion light-years away. This allows astronomers to see the star as it appeared 900 million years after the Big Bang.
Today, the star “Erndel” disappeared a long time ago, because the greater the mass of the star, the hotter and brighter it is, and therefore faster its energy source. While a star like our Sun has been around for about ten billion years, Erndel likely exploded as a supernova after a maximum of 600 million years and then disappeared.
“Earandel” to further explore
“We almost didn’t believe it at first,” the astronomer said. Brian Welch of Johns Hopkins University, who made this discovery as lead author of the article In the magazine “Nature” Describe. ‘Earendel’ is ‘much further’ than ‘Extremely Farthest’. The record holder was a star that was discovered in 2018, but that only shone four billion years after the Big Bang. The research team now wants to observe Irandel with the James Webb Telescope, Hubble’s successor, in order to accurately determine its age and mass.
The James Webb Telescope, due to be fully operational this summer, is designed to study the early days of the universe. It looks into space beyond the Hubble telescope and thus goes back in time. Using the James Webb Telescope, it will be possible to split the light from the “Earendel” into its wavelengths and thus obtain information about its composition and temperature – for astronomers important insight into the history of the first stars in the young universe. Astronomers hope to draw conclusions about the formation of the first stars and galaxies.
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