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The agency said that the star existed during the first billion years after the birth of the universe in the Big Bang.
NASA said the previous record holder with a single star was discovered by the telescope in 2018. This star existed when the universe was about 4 billion years old, during a “redshift.”
“Redshift” refers to the light from distant objects heading towards them a land that are stretched, or “shifted,” into longer, redder wavelengths as the universe expands.
This star is so far away that its light took 12.9 billion years to reach Earth, and it looks as if the universe is in a redshift 6.2 – or 7% of its current age.
“We almost didn’t believe it at first, it was so much farther than the previous star that was farthest and highest redshifted,” said Brian Welch, an astronomer at Johns Hopkins University and lead author of the book. the paper Describing the discovery, he said in a statement.
The discovery was made from data collected during RELICS (Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey). program.
After studying the galaxy in detail, Welch determined that one feature was a highly magnified star called Earendel, or “morning star” in Old English.
“Erndel has been around for so long that it probably didn’t have the same raw materials as the stars around us today,” Welch explained.
“Earendel’s study will be a window into an era of the universe that we weren’t even aware of, but that led to everything we know. It’s as if we were reading a really interesting book, but we’re starting with chapter two, and now we’ll have a chance to see how it all began.”
Earendel has a mass at least 50 times that of the sun And millions of times brighter. It is naturally magnified by the galaxy cluster WHL0137-08.
It appears directly on or near a ripple — or “caustic” — in the texture of space, providing maximum magnification and brightness.
The caustic substance causes the appearance of the Earendel, the brightness of which is amplified a thousand or more times.
Astronomers expect that it will remain highly magnified for years to come, and will be spotted by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.
Scientists cannot currently determine whether Earendel is a binary star and its formation will be of great interest because it formed before the universe was filled with heavy elements produced by successive generations of massive stars.
If additional research finds that Earendel consists only of primordial hydrogen and helium, it will be the first evidence of mythical stars for Population III: the first stars born after the Big Bang.
“With Webb, we might see stars farther than Earendel, and that’s going to be incredibly exciting,” Welch said. “We’ll go back as far as we can. I’d like to see Webb break Earndel’s distance record.”
The smallest objects ever seen at such a great distance are groups of stars.
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