Follow-up observations of the galaxy by theKeck Telescope in Hawaii confirmed its distance. An instrument called MOSFIRE (Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infra-Red Exploration), which uses a 2Kx2K H2-RG HgCdTe array from Teledyne Imaging Systems, enabled this. MOSFIRE, according to a press release, is an extremely sensitive instrument designed to detect infrared light. By performing spectroscopy of the identified galaxy candidates, researchers are able to gauge the distances of galaxies by measuring a feature from hydrogen called the Lyman alpha transition, which is detected in most galaxies that are seen from a time more than one billion years from the Big Bang.
Of the galaxies observed withMOSFIRE, the research team detected this Lyman alpha feature from only one galaxy, x8-GND-5296. The team also showed that the newly discovered galaxy is forming stars at a rapid pace, producing each year approximately 300 times the mass of our sun. By comparison, the Milky Way forms only two to three stars per year.
"So we’re learning something about the distant universe," said Steven Finkelstein, project leader, from the University of Texas at Austin, in the press release. "There are way more regions of very high star formation than we previously thought. There must be a decent number of them if we happen to find two in the same area of the sky."
View thepress release.
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