From the Beeb:
An international team of astronomers has detected the most distant galaxy yet.
The galaxy is about 30 billion light-years away and is helping scientists shed light on the period that immediately followed the Big Bang.
It was found using the Hubble Space Telescope and its distance was then confirmed with the ground-based Keck Observatory in Hawaii.
The study is published in the journal Nature.
Because it takes light so long to travel from the outer edge of the Universe to us, the galaxy appears as it was 13.1 billion years ago (its distance from Earth of 30 billion light-years is because the Universe is expanding).
Lead researcher Steven Finkelstein, from the University of Texas at Austin, US, said: “This is the most distant galaxy we’ve confirmed. We are seeing this galaxy as it was 700 million years after the Big Bang.”
The far-off galaxy goes by the catchy name of z8_GND_5296.
z8_GND_5296 is churning out stars at a remarkable rate, say astronomers
The system is small: about 1-2% the mass of the Milky Way and is rich in heavier elements.
But it has a surprising feature: it is turning gas and dust into new stars at a remarkable rate, churning them out hundreds of times faster than our own galaxy can.
It is the second far-flung galaxy known that has been found to have a high star-production rate.
Prof Finkelstein said: “One very interesting way to learn about the Universe is to study these outliers and that tells us something about what sort of physical processes are dominating galaxy formation and galaxy evolution.