Hubble telescope reveals the farthest star ever seen
Thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have spotted the farthest star yet observed. Icarus, as the blue supergiant is named, is located 9 billion light years from our solar system. It’s 100 times farther than the next star we are able to study.
Hubble Space Telescope’and has some fantastic discoveries to its credit. Thanks to it, in 2016 it was possible to see the Gn-Z11 galaxy located 13.4 billion light years away from us. But galaxies are much larger and brighter than individual stars.
Icarus is the farthest individual star ever spotted. Its full name is MACS J1149+2223 lensed star 1 or in skroLS1 (Lensed Star 1). It is located too far away to be seen even through the most powerful of our telescopesow. But this was possible thanks to the phenomenon of gravitational lensing. Thanks to this phenomenon, we can see objects thatore would not normally be visible.
Gravitational lensing is a phenomenon that facilitates the discovery of distant objectsow. It occurs when there is a third object on a line between the observer and the object being observed, e.g. star. This causes a disturbance in the course of light rays. The gravity of this third object can bend light, resulting in krotional brightness enhancements of the observed object.
The duration of the lensing phenomenon depends on the mass of the lens – The smaller the mass, the krothis phenomenon. While typical microlensing brightenings caused by stars last from a few to several hundred days, phenomena caused by Jupiter-mass planets typically last 1–2 days, and by terrestrial planets – just a few hours.
Icarus is the first individual star observed in this wayob. – For the first time we see an enlarged individual star – said Patrick Kelly of the University of Minnesota, who is leading the study, whichore appeared in „Nature Astronomy”. – We can see the postolne galaxies, but this star is at least 100 times farther away than the next star weowe are able to study, except for supernova explosions – added the researcher.
Icarus was discovered by accident. Kelly along with the supportohe researchers observed the explosion of a supernova named Refsdal. During the research they spotted other point sourcesoradiation background. The role of gravitational lens fell to a cluster of galaxies called MACS J1149+2223 located exactly between Icarus and our solar system. This cluster is located at a distance of 5 billionoin years and magnifies Icarus by about 600 times.
However, even this magnification was not enough to observe Icarus. The lensing effect by the galaxy cluster was enhanced by an object with a mass of up to three solar masses, ktory is located in a lensing galaxy. A single star or other massive object inside the foreground lens, if it is accurately wyrownn with an object behind it, can magnify the background object thousands of times. Together, this gave a magnification effect of about 2,000 times.
– The discovery of LS1 allows us to gather new insights into the component of theointo clusters of galaxies,” he explained wsporoutor of the discovery Steven Rodney of the University of South Carolina.
Icarus has been classified as a blue supergiant. These are hot and very bright stars, even hundreds of thousands of times brighter than our Sun. Temperatures on their surface reach between 20,000 and 50,000 Kelvinow. Their masses typically range from 10 to 50 solar masses. Blue supergiants belong to rare stars. They live up to 50 millionoin years, which is a very curotkim period in the cosmological time frame.
Observed by an astronomerow radiation was emitted when the Universe was only 4.4 billion years old.
Sourceobackground: Hubble Space Telescope, NASA, photo. NASA, ESA, and P. Kelly (University of Minnesota)