Astronomers detects farthest-ever galaxy EGS8p7 13.2 billion light years away

The farthest ever Galaxy named EGS8p7 has been detected. The galaxy is unusually luminous and could be powered by a collection of unusually hot stars. A team of researchers from the California have discovered a 13.2 billion years old galaxy. It could be labelled as the most distant galaxies ever found. Now the universe itself is considered to be 13.8 billion-year-old.

Sirio Belli, Caltech graduate student who is associated with the project, said that the galaxy that is named EGS8p7 is unusually luminous and could be fueled by a population of the unusually hot star. It could have special properties that enabled it to create a bubble of ionized hydrogen much earlier than is possible for typical galaxies at these times.

After the big bang, the Universe had changed into a soup of charged particles and light. When the universe was half a billion to a billion years old, the first galaxies started forming and re-ionized the neutral gas. The universe remains ionized to this day.

Earlier to re-ionization, clouds of neutral hydrogen atoms absorbed certain radiation emitted by galaxies in its infancy. It incorporated the supposed Lyman-alpha line that is the spectral mark of hot H2 gas. The Hydrogen gas is heated by ultraviolet emission from new stars. It is often considered the hailing sign of star formation.  Hence due to this absorption, in theory, there should not be a Lyman –alpha line from EGS8p7.

Adi Zitrin, NASA Hubble postdoctoral scholar in astronomy, explained that there was a lot of neutral hydrogen which is not transparent to this emission. Surprisingly Adi and his team have discovered this Lyman-alpha line in an apparently faint galaxy, corresponding to a time when the universe should be full of absorbing hydrogen clouds. Presently the team is making calculations on a minute scale to increase the chance of finding this galaxy. It will also explain if there is any need to revise the timeline of ionization.



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