Radio signal captured from 9 billion light-years away
A radio signal 9 billion light-years away from Earth has been captured in a record-breaking image, Space.com said Friday.
The signal was detected by a unique wavelength known as an “21 centimeter line” or the “hydrogen line,” said to be emitted from neutral hydrogen atoms.
The signal picked up by the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope in India could mean that scientists can start researching the formation of some of the earliest stars and galaxies, the report said.
Researchers discovered the signal from a “star-forming galaxy” called SDSSJ0826+5630, which was emitted when the 13.8-billion-year-old Milky Way — the galaxy in which Earth resides — was only 4.9 billion years old.
“It’s the equivalent of a look backk over the time of 8.8 billion years,” author and McGill University Department of Physics postdoctoral cosmologist Arnab Chakraborty said in a statement this week.
Galaxies are said to emit light over a wide range of radio wavelengths. But until recently, radio waves with a wavelength of 21 cm had only been recorded from nearby galaxies.
“A galaxy emits different kinds of radio signals. Until now, it was only possible to pick up this specific signal from a nearby galaxy, so our knowledge is limited to those galaxies closer to Earth,” said Chakraborty.
The signal allowed astronomers to measure the gas content of the galaxy and thus determine the mass of the galaxy.
This determination has led scientists to conclude that this distant galaxy is twice as massive as the stars visible from Earth, the report said.
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