tagged w/ Stellar Archaeology
October 20th, 2010
06:04 PM ET
Stargazing: A visible comet, the most distant galaxy
... from a galaxy far, far away, a European team of astronomers has measured the distance to the most remote galaxy so far.
Using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope to analyze the faint glow of the galaxy, they discovered that they are seeing it when the Universe was only about 600 million years old, according to an ESO press release.
"We have confirmed that a galaxy spotted earlier using Hubble is the most remote object identified so far in the Universe” said the lead author of the paper reporting the results, Matt Lehnert of the Observatoire de Paris.
The results will appear in the October 21 issue of the journal, Nature.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope took this false color picture of Hartley 2 in September.
The Hartley 2 comet should be visible to the naked eye when it makes its closest pass to Earth tonight.
The mountain-sized ball of ice and dust has been too faint to be seen without a professional telescope since its discovery in 1986 by Australian astronomer Malcolm Hartley.
But as the comet has drawn closer to Earth in the past week, passing the brilliant star Capella in the constellation Auriga, it has become visible above the northeast horizon as a faint, fuzzy patch, according to National Geographic's news blog.
Dark skies away from cities will offer the best views, and binoculars or a telescope will sharpen the detail, National Geographic reported.October 20th, 2010
06:04 PM ET
Stargazing: A visible comet, the most distant... more