Friday, January 28, 2011

Hubble Discovers Oldest Object in the Universe

According to NASA's website, the Hubble Space Telescope has found what could be the most distant object ever seen in the universe. Light first left this object 13.2 billion years ago. That makes it about 150 million years older than the previous record holder. That makes the age of the universe a bit older than 13.5 billion years old and somewhere nearer 13.7 Billion years.

The extremely dim object is a compact galaxy of blue stars. This small dim galaxy would have existed 480 million years after the big bang, very exciting news when you consider that this finding puts our understanding of the early universe and when the first stars arrived. This also means that there is now evidence that the rate of star birth in the early universe grew dramatically, increasing 10 fold from 480 million years to 650 million years after the big bang.

One thing is very evident however. There were big changes during this early period of the universe. It's clear that as astronomers peer further back and further out in time and space, they're going to see even more dramatic changes, closer to when the first galaxies were just starting to form.

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