NASA Reports to Have Found Faintest Object in Early Universe

Dec 4, 2015

Astronomers harnessing the combined power of NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have found the faintest object ever seen in the early universe. It existed about 400 million years after the big bang, 13.8 billion years ago.

The team has nicknamed the object Tayna, which means “first-born” in Aymara, a language spoken in the Andes and Altiplano regions of South America.

Though Hubble and Spitzer have detected other galaxies that are record-breakers for distance, this object represents a smaller, fainter class of newly forming galaxies that until now had largely evaded detection. These very dim objects may be more representative of the early universe, and offer new insight on the formation and evolution of the first galaxies.

“Thanks to this detection, the team has been able to study for the first time the properties of extremely faint objects formed not long after the big bang,” said lead author Leopoldo Infante, an astronomer at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. The remote object is part of a discovery of 22 young galaxies at ancient times located nearly at the observable horizon of the universe. This research means there is a substantial increase in the number of known very distant galaxies.

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3 comments on “NASA Reports to Have Found Faintest Object in Early Universe

  • mmurray
    Dec 4, 2015 at 6:52 am

    Interesting trinity there ! Particularly the last one.

    Some of the internationally supported, world leading ground-based telescopes are on the high Andes above the Atacama Desert, so there is bound to be some local academic contact!
    Chile can be considered the astronomy capital of the world. At present (2011),[2] Chile is home to 42% of the world’s astronomy infrastructure of telescopes, and by 2018 it will contain 70% of the global infrastructure. In the Atacama desert region in north, the skies are exceptionally clear and dry for more than 300 days a year. These optimal conditions have led the world’s scientific community to develop in the Atacama desert the most ambitious astronomical projects in the history of mankind.

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