A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota made a great astronomical achievement. After discovering the most distant star ever, they also managed to look at it and identify its exact location with the help of the Hubble telescope. This is how they found out it is placed 9 billion light years away from Earth, the farthest distance ever achieved by a known cosmic object.
Researchers localized the most distant star ever
Thanks to an incredibly lucky moment, researchers managed to observe the most distant star ever. This star bears the official name the star’s official name is MACS J1149+2223 Lensed Star 1. However, researchers chose for it the nickname Icarus, that evokes its faraway position.
Researchers explained that a great stroke of luck allowed them to be watching the sky while a star cluster aligned in a friendly formation. Through this alignment, the light of the most distant star ever was warped and directed towards our planet. Also, this light achieved a magnifying effect so that researchers could see the star 2000 times bigger than it is.
They were lucky to spot the rare event in the sky
This is not the first time when researchers discovered a lone star at big distances from Earth. However, Icarus is at 100 times the distance between our planet and any kind of such lone star. Therefore, even observing it is a major event in itself. At such huge distances, usually researchers are able to observe only galaxies.
When researchers started their first study of Icarus, they didn’t actually expect to find out it was the most distant star ever. However, they knew from the beginning such astronomical events are rare, and wanted to take advantage and see what it was about. At first, they thought Icarus might be a supernova, but the new studies revealed its true nature.
The study was published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
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