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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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ScienceShot: The Universe's Farthest Galaxy … So Far
23 October 2013 1:00 pm
Astronomers have caught a glimpse of the farthest, most ancient galaxy to date, a star factory that was bustling with activity a mere 700 million years after the big bang. The researchers estimate the galaxy, named z8_GND_5296 and located 13.1 billion years away, formed stars at a rate that was a hundred times more prolific than today’s Milky Way. The find, reported in Nature this week, suggests the early universe may have witnessed more bursts of frenetic star birth than astronomers had thought. The galaxy, photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope and seen, magnified, in the box above, is much brighter than distant galaxies typically are. Researchers inferred from its red-ultraviolet color that it was rich in “metals”—elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. Because all of those elements originate from fusion reactions in the heart of stars and are spewed out when those stars explode as supernovae, the find suggests that the galaxy had already seen the birth and death of generations of stars by the time the universe was 700 million years old.