Release 250 of 1,157

Galaxy Found in Hubble Survey Has Farthest Confirmed Distance

Release date: Oct 23, 2013 1:00 PM (EDT)
Galaxy Found in Hubble Survey Has Farthest Confirmed Distance

A team of astronomers has discovered a galaxy that sets the current distance record for galaxies whose distance has been definitively measured by spectroscopic redshift. The galaxy is seen as it was at a time just 700 million years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only about 5 percent of its current age of 13.8 billion years. This galaxy and dozens of others were selected for follow-up observations from the approximately 100,000 galaxies discovered in the Hubble Space Telescope CANDELS survey (Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey). The team used the Keck I Telescope in Hawaii to measure the redshift of the CANDELS galaxy, designated z8_GND_5296, at 7.51. This is the highest galaxy redshift ever confirmed. The spectral redshift of galaxies is caused by the expansion of space from the Big Bang.