In a galaxy far, far away there lies a giant blue star that was just unveiled by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Astronomers and stargazers all over the world should be fascinated to learn this announcement.
The star was discovered via a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.
Icarus is more than halfway across the universe
The star was nicknamed Icarus, and it’s located somewhere more than halfway across the universe. According to astronomers, this is the most distant star that was ever observed in the spiral galaxy. In other words, it’s at least at 100 times farther away than any other star that was ever spotted.
“It is so far away that its light has taken 9 billion years to reach Earth. It appears to us as it did when the universe was about 30 percent of its current age,” NASA reported.
The star is more luminous than the Sun
Icarus, which is the name of a Greek mythological character, is the star’s name as well. This star is not only huge and blue, but it is also more luminous than the Sun.
“This is the first time we’re seeing a magnified, individual star,” stated the former University of California at Berkeley postdoc and study leader Dr. Patrick Kelly.
“You can see individual galaxies out there, but this star is at least 100 times farther away than the next individual star we can study, except for supernova explosions,” he continued.
The discovery is a massive step towards looking at a wider range of stars
After this discovery, experts can look at a broader range of stars than ever before in the history of Universe.
Dr. Louise Howes, a researcher at Lund Universtiy in Sweden says that “I’m excited about what this means for the future — if we can discover more stars like this. Perhaps even further away, then we can start to compare these stars to massive stars in the Milky Way.”
NASA hopes that more stars like this will be discovered especially after the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in 2020.