Thursday, March 01, 2012

GRB 090429B The Most Distant Object in the Universe

The photo to the right is of a gamma-ray burst with the unassuming name of GRB 090429B. This faint red object has the title of the most distant object in the observable universe and therefor the oldest. GRB 090429B's light has been traveling 13.2 billion years or 96% of the age of the Universe itself.  First observed by the Burst Alert Telescope aboard NASA's  Swift satellite when it observed a  five-second-long burst of gamma rays from the constellation Canes Venatici.

What fascinates me about these vast times and distances is that they have very little in common with where and when the object really is now. 13 Billion years ago GRB 090429B was 17 billion light years closer to us and as the light reaches us from 13.2
billion years, the object is in truth more like about thirty billion light-years away!
How is that for a mind bending thought exercise!

Read More at the Daily Galaxy Blog's page


kallamis said...

This is why I want immortality. To see the universe, regardless of how long it takes. To the center first, and then out to where it ends, and just see what lies beyond it. After all, if it is true nothing, and you fly a ship into it, well.... Okay, maybe i wouldn't live long. Maybe I'd create another big bang, and cause a real mess. Either way, I want to go, somewhere, and see something. We have some great movies, some great books, and I love the animals of the Earth. But I'm really ready to get out of here. And as for the distances, well, that's why I want to find immortality, as impossible as that may or may not be.

Beam Me Up said...

Ever read Poul Anderson's Tau Zero? You just about covered the whole novel. Great story. But your vision has the makings as well. What a great idea and fused with the emotions, gives a great story framework.