Documented in a new study led by Johns Hopkins University PhD candidate Brain Welch and published in the scientific journal Nature, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of a star estimated to be 28 billion light-years away—making it the most distant one ever seen. Named Earendel, this 12.9-billion-year-old cosmic object happens to be millions of times brighter than our solar system’s Sun, and is likely to be 50 to 500 times the size. Hubble was able to image the star thanks to a “cosmic coincidence” known as gravitational lensing wherein nearby galaxies “bend space into this natural telescope,” according to astronomer Michelle Thaller of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Read more about the phenomenon and the star at Astronomy.
Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, Brian Welch (JHU), Dan Coe (STScI), image processing by NASA, ESA, Alyssa Pagan (STScI)