A faraway object in Frontier Fields cluster Abell 2744 could be one of the most distant galaxies found to date, according to an international team studying a combination of Hubble and Spitzer data on the cluster.
The galaxy, called Abell2744_Y1, is about 30 times smaller than our Milky Way galaxy but is producing at least 8 times more stars. Further observations are needed to verify the galaxy’s redshift, which will help determine how truly distant it is. The highest-redshift galaxies, with values greater than 8 or 9, are so distant we see them as they were about 13 billion years ago. For comparison, galaxies with a redshift around 0 are in our local neighborhood and galaxies with a redshift of around 1 appear as they were halfway back to the Big Bang. Astronomers are hoping Abell2744_Y1 is in the high-redshift range.
Abell2744_Y1 (right) and its location in the Abell 2744 galaxy cluster (left). Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz, M. Mountain, A. Koekemoer, and the HFF Team (STScI), and N. Laporte (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias)
Though scientists are interested in galaxies with redshifts in the lower range, technological advances have made those discoveries far more routine. For many astronomers, ...