'Oldest galaxy' in universe discovered
London: A team of Japanese astronomers in Hawaii claim to have found the oldest galaxy, a discovery that is competing with other “earliest galaxy” findings.
The Japanese team calculates its galaxy was formed 12.91 billion light-years ago, the Daily Express reported.
The scientists with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan used the Subaru and Keck telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea.
A light-year is the distance that light travels in a year, about six trillion miles. Seeing distant galaxies is akin to looking back into time.
Richard Ellis of the California Institute of Technology, an influential expert in cosmology and galaxy formation, said the latest work was more convincing than some other galaxy discoveries.
He said that the Japanese claim is more “watertight”, using methods that everyone can agree on.
But he said that it is 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 Hubble Space Telescope claimed to have discovered a galaxy from 13.1 billion light-years ago and last year a California team using Hubble said they saw a galaxy from 13.2 billion light-years ago.
However, the two Hubble teams have yet to confirm their findings with other methods, Ellis said.
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.
The research will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.