Japanese astronomers claim to have found the oldest galaxy, competing with other claims yet to be confirmed.
The Japanese team calculates its galaxy was formed 12.91 billion light-years ago, and their research will be published in the Astrophysical Journal. The scientists with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan used the Subaru and Keck telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea.
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Richard Ellis of the California Institute of Technology, an influential expert in cosmology and galaxy formation, said the latest work as more convincing than some other galaxy discoveries.
He said the Japanese claim is more "watertight," using methods that everyone can agree on. But he said it's not much of a change from a similar finding by the same team last year.
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Current theory holds that the universe was born of an explosion, called the Big Bang, about 13.7 billion years ago. So astronomers using the most powerful telescopes available are peering deeper and deeper into that dawn of the universe.