Celestial bodies and their study have always been a matter of wonder from our childhood. We used to think that stars actually twinkle, and we used our imaginative powers until NASA has made many dreams come true by its string of discoveries. The Hubble telescope has recently delivered one of the most astonishing news of all time. Hubble has captured and detected the farthest star from Earth about 5million light years away.
You must be thinking how that distance is possible to detect but Hubble Telescope can cover up beyond our observable universe. The new star Icarus, whose scientific name is given as MACS J1149+2223 Lensed Star 1, is located 9 billion lt years away and there is a cluster of the galaxy that covers up the view. So how did Hubble manage to take images? Are you thinking of it? Oh, keep up!!
The answer is GRAVITATIONAL LENSING. Now, what is this? It is a phenomenon when the gravity of a super-massive object blends and amplifies the light source behind itself thus magnifying the light to a greater extent. The Hubble was monitoring a supernova called Refsdal when suddenly the amplification of the star’s light came into the picture.
Normally, such a cluster would have resulted in a magnification of less than 600, according to Kelly said. But in a chance event, one of the stars in the cluster – of the size of the Sun – fell in position and contributed to the additional magnification that brought Icarus to light. This cosmic alignment, which boosted the brightness of Icarus by 2,000x, was “a larger telescope than we can possibly build”, according to co-author Alex Filippenko, an astronomer at University of California, Berkeley.
Now a fascinating part where general relativity comes. Icarus is 9 billion light-years away. Means Hubble has captured the light 9 billion years after the light has departed the star. Now apply the brainstorm, dear readers… You are seeing the star ICARUS which is actually 9 billion years PAST!!! means what the actual status of Icarus now, can be defined after 9 billion earth years.! Every time Hubble captures its light, its actually capturing 9 billion years past (with respect to earth). Icarus is so old that the light observed by Hubble was generated when the universe was just 30 percent of its current age. Isn’t time an amazing anomaly?