Earendel: the most distant (detected) star in our solar system

The space telescope Hubble continues to deliver its wonders. Today’s discovery is a very old and venerable star, the farthest from our Earth that has ever been detected. Earendel was born 900 million years after the Big Bang, barely a minute on the astronomical scale. This very old and very distant solar system bears the scientific codification of WHL0137-LS, but it is the astronomers in charge of analyzing the Hubble data who now prefer the small name of Earendel (which means “morning star”). in Old English).

Earendel farthest star

Just to be aware of the age of this star, you should know that its light took 12.8 billion years to travel through space to finally reach the Hubble mirror. Another measurement scale, Earendel is 8.2 billion years older than our sun! The previous record for the oldest star ever observed was held by Icaruswhich appeared 9.4 billion years ago.

Earendel’s home galaxy is theSunrise Bowwhich takes its name from the famous gravitational lensing effect* (it is also this effect that made Earendel’s discovery possible). Brian Welcha Johns Hopkins University astronomer and lead author of the Nature paper, describes the phenomenon as follows: “This galaxy appears magnified and stretched into a long, thin crescent shape due to gravitational lensing from a massive galaxy cluster in the foreground”.

* The gravitational lens effect is the deflection of light by a mass (mass which can be that of a planet, a galaxy or a cluster of galaxies).

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