Baffled scientists believe they’ve spotted the most distant object in space on record, 13.5 billion light-years away.
They suspect it’s actually a galaxy, although it’s so far away that experts aren’t 100 percent sure yet.
But it’s so incredible that astronomers have dubbed it “a giant baby in the delivery room of the early universe.”
HD1, as it’s called, is mysteriously bright due to ultraviolet light, meaning it’s probably doing something extremely hot.
There are a few wild theories as to what it could be.
One suggestion is that it is star forming at a shocking rate and could even harbor the very first stars in the universe, known as Population III stars – which have never been observed.
Or it could be hiding a supermassive black hole about 100 million times the size of the Sun.
In any case, HD1 is a whopping 100 million light-years further away than the current record holder, GN-z11.
Yuichi Harikane, an astronomer at the University of Tokyo who spotted it, said the team had to look past many other space bits to spot HD1.
“It was very hard work to find HD1 from more than 700,000 objects,” he said.
“HD1’s red color matched surprisingly well the expected properties of a galaxy 13.5 billion light-years away and gave me a bit of chills when I found it.”
At first, astronomers assumed it was a standard starburst galaxy known for spewing out stars at high speeds.
But then they realized that HD1 could be producing more than 100 each year, an “incredible rate” 10 times higher than what we expect for these galaxies.
The group scanned through multiple high-tech telescopes for 1,200 hours to make the discovery.
Next they want to use the new Massive James Webb Space Telescope look again at HD1 to verify its removal and unravel any more mysteries it may hold.
The research was published by the Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters.
This article originally appeared on The sun and is reproduced here with permission.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/07/most-distant-galaxy-ever-seen-photographed-in-space/ The most distant galaxy ever photographed in space