There is «Star Wars» fever, and many are waiting to read the well-known text on the big screen again: "Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away ...".
But the galaxy where Skywalker & co. rattled with their lightsabers in the movies, is hardly as distant or old as this one.
NASA has in fact discovered a galaxy 13.8 billion years old, only some hundred million years younger than the universe itself.
It has been nicknamed Tayna, and is the weakest luminous galaxy ever observed.
Tayna was found by combining data from the powerful Hubble and Spitzer telescopes, said NASA in a statement.
The name Tanya means "first born" in Aymara, a language spoken by indigenous people in the Andes. It is in the shadow of these mountains, at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, the researchers behind the study is based.
It is a fitting name, as Tayna is seen as the galaxy was in its infancy, as it appeared when the universe had just been made. It is not the first time NASA finds old and distant galaxies, but this still stands out.
Previously one has, for obvious reasons, primarily seen the biggest and brightest galaxies in the universe.
This one is far weaker, and perhaps more representative - it can therefore tell a lot about early galaxy formation.
- Thanks to this discovery, our team have been able to study the properties of an extremely weak object that was formed shortly after "the big bang" for the first time, says Leopoldo Infante in the press release. He is the leader of the study that was recently published in The Astrophysical Journal.
Tayna is one of 22 new galaxies that were found.
Note, the article image is for illustrative purposes only, as the image of Tayna merely shows an enlarged dot.
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