October 23, 2013: 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.
For images and more information about galaxy z8_GND_5296, visit: http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/news/releases/2013/