“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….”

Very cool… er um… hot back then.. no.. cool… but…

Just read:

NASA Telescopes Spy Ultra-Distant Galaxy

PASADENA, Calif. — With the combined power of NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes, as well as a cosmic magnification effect, astronomers have spotted what could be the most distant galaxy ever seen. Light from the young galaxy captured by the orbiting observatories first shone when our 13.7-billion-year-old universe was just 500 million years old.

The far-off galaxy existed within an important era when the universe began to transit from the so-called cosmic dark ages. During this period, the universe went from a dark, starless expanse to a recognizable cosmos full of galaxies. The discovery of the faint, small galaxy opens a window onto the deepest, most remote epochs of cosmic history.

“This galaxy is the most distant object we have ever observed with high confidence,” said Wei Zheng, a principal research scientist in the department of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who is lead author of a new paper appearing in Nature. “Future work involving this galaxy, as well as others like it that we hope to find, will allow us to study the universe’s earliest objects and how the dark ages ended.”

Light from the primordial galaxy traveled approximately 13.2 billion light-years before reaching NASA’s telescopes. In other words, the starlight snagged by Hubble and Spitzer left the galaxy when the universe was just 3.6 percent of its present age. Technically speaking, the galaxy has a redshift, or “z,” of 9.6. [What a great variable!] The term redshift refers to how much an object’s light has shifted into longer wavelengths as a result of the expansion of the universe. Astronomers use redshift to describe cosmic distances. [And, now, the greatness of faithful Catholic blogs?  Fishwrap... z=-100?]

[...]

Read the rest there.

VERY cool.

We almost need the Star Wars crawl for this.

Technorati Tags: , ,

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky! and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….”

  1. teomatteo says:

    the z is redshifting, and fw(fishwrap) is blueshifting. Hmmm…. they are parsecs apart for sure.

  2. stgemma_0411 says:

    Does this mean that one of their “black hole” spots is now filled?

  3. Cantor says:

    Which means, of course, that even traveling at Warp 9.99, the theoretical maximum speed, the Enterprise would still take 1.67 million years to get there. I tried to calculate how many minutes of commercials that would lead to, but was dissuaded by flashing lights, a klaxon, and large spinning saw blades swishing through the room.

  4. Phil_NL says:

    Erm, Fr.,…

    A Z of -100 for the fishwrap would mean that it is moving towards you with incredible speed (redshifts originate from speeddifferences, after all). The resulting collision will undoubtedly be painful. Even with a fishwrap; its mass may be close to zero (physically and intellectually), but its speed will more than compensate.

    May I suggest that we’ll kindly allow the fishwrap a modestly positive Z (of say 2 or 3), provided they remain in the Alderaan debris field?

  5. Johnno says:

    A lot of evolutionary musings passed of as facts with regards to the age of the universe, but that’s no surprise… Anyone wanting to learn something interesting ought to look up the Data on the Cosmic Microwave Background and the ‘axis of evil’ and the quantized redshifts. All very troublesome for modern scientists who continue to try to cover up information with regards to the true age of the Universe, and the evidence that points to Geocentrism. The Earth was created before the stars and all ex nihilo, you can bank on that.