CANDELS Image Highlighting Galaxy z8_GND_5296

galaxy z8_GNG_5296

This image from the Hubble Space Telescope CANDELS survey highlights the most distant galaxy in the universe with a measured distance, dubbed z8_GND_5296. The galaxy's red color alerted astronomers that it was likely extremely far away, and thus seen at an early time after the Big Bang. A team of astronomers led by Steven Finkelstein of The University of Texas at Austin measured the exact distance using the Keck I telescope with the new MOSFIRE spectrograph. They found that this galaxy is seen at about 700 million years after the Big Bang, when the universe was just 5% of its current age of 13.8 billion years.

Image credit: V. Tilvi, S.L. Finkelstein, C. Papovich, A. Koekemoer, CANDELS, and STScI/NASA