[ExI] The furthest object ever seen

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Apr 28 16:56:29 UTC 2009


No one has ever seen an object further away than the one at the center
of the image below. It’s a gamma-ray burst known as GRB 090423,
spotted by the Swift satellite on April 23rd and quickly observed by
the Gemini Observatory and United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, both on
Mauna Kea (Hawaii). The source is visible at longer wavelengths but
disappears at the 1 micron level, all of which corresponds to a
distance of about thirteen billion light years.

The new GRB 090423 at a redshift of z = 8.2 easily broke the previous
record for gamma-ray bursts, and also exceeds the highest redshift
galaxy and quasar discovered to date, making it the most distant known
object in the Universe. GRB 090423 exploded on the scene when the
Universe was only 630 million years old, and its light has been
travelling to us for over 13 billion years.


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