The Hubble telescope detects the “farthest star” seen so far

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a record image showing the farthest single star ever seen, NASA said Wednesday.

The star is located 12.9 billion light years from Earth, and formed less than a billion years after the Big Bang that created the universe about 13.8 billion years ago, according to NASA.

The star is believed to be about 50 times larger than the Sun and millions of times brighter.

The star was named Earendel, which NASA said means “morning star” in Old English.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Brenda Fry, an astronomer at the University of Arizona and co-author of a research paper detailing the discovery, but she said, “We don’t yet know if it was part of the first generation of stars.”

Previously, the most distant star ever observed was a star called Icarus, located about 9 billion light-years from Earth, discovered by Hubble in 2016 as part of research by a team of astronomers including Dr. Frey.

Individual stars far from Earth are often too dim to be seen even with powerful telescopes, according to astronomers.

But Hubble was able to discover Erendel with the help of a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, in which gravity, which bends light from massive celestial objects, acts as a magnifying lens.

A massive galaxy cluster amplifies the Erendel star’s light by a factor of about 1,000, said astrophysicist Paddy Boyd at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, where the Hubble Space Telescope project is run.

The publication of the image comes more than three decades after the Earth-orbiting observatory began operations, and at a time when astronomers are turning their focus to NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope.

In cooperation with NASA and the European Space Agency, Hubble made more than 1.5 million observations during its nearly 32-year life.

The telescope orbits at an altitude of about 340 miles above the Earth’s surface, and it has monitored supermassive black holes, observed the merging of galaxies, and helped discover the moons around Pluto.

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