Recent discoveries made by NASA have led astronomers to claim that they have found what could be “one of the oldest stars in the universe.” Although this recently discovered universe is more than thirty times smaller than our very own Milky Way galaxy, universal astronomers have remarked that it also generates more than ten times the amount of stars than all other galaxies. According to NASA, this newfound galaxy is possibly one of the youngest and most distant galaxies, which could provide astronomers with an essential guide of sorts in looking back at the birth of the known universe.
The discovery of galaxy Abell2744 Y1 was made by NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescope and has provided astronomers with substantial evidence in understanding the universe at a time in which it was only 650 million years old. This affirmation was reached when considering how Abell2744 Y1 is producing ten times the amount of stars than any other galaxy, in a universe that is more than 13.7 billion years old. In addition, the age of the galaxy compared to the overall lifetime of the universe further substantiates these findings. Astronomers involved with the finding have also confirmed that Abell2744 Y1 is one of the furthest known galaxies at this time.
According to NASA’s Jason Surace, this discovery is only a glimpse of what NASA has been currently working with. Surace further elaborated on the fact in his official statement, “There are only a handful of galaxies at such a great distance known at this time. Our program has only just started working on finding more of these distant and faint galaxies. This is simply a preview of what is coming.”
These recent discoveries come as part of NASA’s new Frontier Fields program. It is this program that Surace mentioned in his official statement, and it is this program that has resulted in relatively omnipotent evidence in the field of astronomy. The sole purpose of the program is to leverage NASA’s Great Observatories in an attempt to discover remote universes. According to NASA, the program will attempt to capture the image of six different galaxy clusters. This will be done using NASA’s Spitzer, Hubble and Chandra X-ray. NASA further elaborated on the matter in an official statement saying, “It is the goal of the Frontier Fields Program to image six different galaxy clusters. The Hubble is used in spot a selected region, and the Spitzer is used in deciphering whether or not the galaxies are as far away as they appear to be. In addition, the Spitzer is also used in calculating how many stars are in the selected galaxy.”
Further reports confirm that it took the light from Abell2744 Y1 130 million years to reach our galaxy, which also makes it one of the brightest galaxies known to date. In addition, the Abell2744 Y1 galaxy has a redshift of 8, which essentially measures the degree in which wavelengths have been shifted as a result of the universe expanding. This redshift surpasses the redshift of 7 that was measured of any other galaxy discovered before it. According to astronomers, the larger the redshift is, the further the galaxy is. These discoveries also suggest that the galaxy contain a large amount of gas in addition to being a great source of unknown stars.
If these elements are confirmed by NASA, Abell2744 Y1 will become the oldest know galaxy to date; and, with this newfound discovery, astronomers will be one step closer in being guided in regard to the origins of the beginning of the universe.
By Aaron Weis