Sunday, December 15, 2013

Activity from Ancient, Invisible Galaxy Observed

Behold, the light of a gamma-ray burst that took place more than 13 billion years ago!

As most of you are aware, the universe is expanding at an ever-increasing speed, which in turn, pushes all galaxies farther away from us. Ultimately, this will result in these galaxies receding so far away, to the point that some of them eventually disappear forever, traveling too fast (located too far away) for their light to ever reach us. However, many of the galaxies that are now too far away were once much closer, offering us an opportunity to study distant, ancient galaxies as they appeared long before our planet was conceived.

s such, astronomers were recently able to detect a destructive event from one such galaxy, located 12.7 billion light-years away. Meaning we are observing the galaxy as it appeared almost 13 billion years ago; basically when the universe was still in diapers, more or less. The galaxy is generally too far away (and too red-shifted as a result of the universe"s expansion) for us to be capable of observing closely

So.. how was this galaxy detected? Find out:

Image Credit: Gemini Observatory / AURA / Lynette Cook

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