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Eat It, “Star Wars”: NASA Discovers A Galaxy Far, Far, Far Away

It may been travelling across space for 13.3 billion years, but it’s one of the youngest known galaxies in the universe. It might also be the farthest-away thing we’ve ever seen.

Eat It, “Star Wars”: NASA Discovers A Galaxy Far, Far, Far Away

NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have discovered the most distant galaxy in the universe. Named MACS0647-JD, it’s been traveling through the void for 13.3 billion years and compared to our own Milky Way it’s tiny, at 600 light years wide versus the 150,000 light years-wide galaxy we live in. And, just to put those 13.3 billion years in perspective, the furthest man-made object from earth is the Voyager 1 probe, which has been whizzing through space for 35 years but is a mere 17 light hours away as it gets ready to leave our solar system.

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The sighting would not have been possible had NASA not used the magnification powers of a massive galaxy cluster, whose gravity increased the light from the galaxy so much that it was able to be spotted. Rest assured, however, that MACS0647-JD won’t be the most distant galaxy to be discovered. For farther ones, we’ll have to wait for more powerful telescopes. And, of course, the next round of Star Wars movies.

[Image from NASA]

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.

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