A galaxy 9.6 billion light-years away located by Hubble Telescope
The use of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has led to yet another discovery of a distant galaxy that acts as a cosmic magnifying glass. This galaxy is about 9.6 billion light-years away and this would make this discovery the most distant object known to scientists.
NASA has reported that this newly discovered galaxy breaks the previous record for most distant lensing galaxy by 200 million years. The word "lensing" galaxies here means massive galaxies that have their gravity bends so magnified that it distorts light from objects behind it and this phenomenon has been named "gravitational lensing".
The research team working on this discovery has further suspected that this lensing galaxy is growing over the past nine billion years by gaining stars and dark matter by ingesting its neighboring galaxies. At the current pace it is expected that this distant lensing galaxy will eventually become much more massive than the Milky Way and will have more dark matter.
Lead researcher Kim-Vy Tran of Texas A&M University in College Station said, "Finding one in such a small area of the sky is so rare that you would normally have to survey a region hundreds of times larger to find just one".
To further study this distant discovery, Kenneth Wong and Sherry Suyu of Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics (ASIAA) in Taipei, Taiwan made use of this gravitational lensing phenomenon to measure the giant galaxy's total mass and the amount of dark matter it had. All this was done by gauging the intensity of its lensing effects on the background galaxy's light.