The light from a star took about 12.9 billion years to travel towards earth. A per the record it is 4 billion years longer than the former record holder.
The star was nicknamed Earendel from the old English word meaning “morning star” or “rising light. It was found while analyzing Hubble Space Telescope images of dozens of clusters of galaxies nearer to Earth. These clusters are so massive that they bend and focus the light from more distant background objects. This is termed as gravitational lensing.
In images of one cluster, astronomer Brian Welch of Johns Hopkins University and colleagues noticed a long, thin, red arc. The team realized that the arc was a background galaxy whose light the cluster had warped and amplified. On top of the red arc is a bright spot that is too small to be a small galaxy or a star cluster. Researchers stumbled into finding that this was a lensed star.
The researchers plan to use the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to examine Earendel. Experts expect the JWST to uncover objects from even earlier times in the universe’s history than the Hubble can see.
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