The most distant object in the Universe


19/07/2011

The most distant objects are also the oldest, or at least that’s what they appear to us, because the reflected light was coming from them to us for billions of years. Because they are so far away that they appear to us very dull. Only by using the latest telescopes and observation techniques developed in the last decade, astronomers have learned to see that far.

One such innovation occurred when the orbiting observatory was launched by NASA’s Swift in 2004, which is used for the detection of gamma-ray bursts (GW). These outbreaks that occur during the deaths of massive stars, are the most spectacular events in the cosmos. Although their short life lasts only a few seconds, thanks to a brightness, GW can be seen with a very, very long distance.

A large international team of astronomers, which included the Edo Berger, Alicia Soderbergh and Ryan Foley, used data from Swift, to study gamma-ray bursts, which, the study belongs to the most distant objects known to us (although the uncertainty in the calculations, provides a basis for a few more candidates qualify for this title.) The light from this object coming towards us for 13.2 billion years old, or 96% of the age of the universe. Since the universe is constantly expanding, now the object is farther than 13.2 billion light-years - namely, a distance of about 30 billion light-years.

Scientists have not been able to detect even slight signs of alleged galaxies, which once was this massive star, which confirms the assumption of its great distance. Other important details, as mentioned in their publication, lies in the fact that this object is similar to a closer GW, so even at this early stage of the universe, at least some of the stars, have behaved like stars in our local universe.

Original: Physorg


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