“We’ve taken a major step back in time, beyond what we’d ever expected to be able to do with Hubble. We managed to look back in time to measure the distance to a galaxy when the Universe was only three percent of its current age,” says Pascal Oesch of Yale University and lead author of the paper.To determine large distances, like the one to GN-z11, astronomers measure the redshift of the observed object. This phenomenon is a result of the expansion of the Universe; every distant object in the Universe appears to be receding from us and as a result its light is stretched to longer, redder wavelengths.Before astronomers determined the distance to GN-z11, the most distant measured galaxy, EGSY8p7, had a redshift of 8.68. Now, the team has confirmed GN-z11’s distance to be at a redshift of 11.1, which corresponds to 400 million years after the Big Bang.“The previous record-holder was seen in the middle of the epoch when starlight from primordial galaxies was beginning to heat and lift a fog of cold, hydrogen gas,” explains co-author Rychard Bouwens from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. “This transitional period is known as the reionisation era. GN-z11 is observed 150 million years earlier, near the very beginning of this transition in the evolution of the Universe.”
This makes me think about the difference between a video camera and a still frame camera. A video camera, or video itself, is about capturing images over time, while a still camera, or a picture, is about capturing an image at this specific time. But what if the concept of a picture gets more complex, a photo taken today, right now, of a time in the past (realizing that this is always true of photography just on a incredibly tiny scale), then do we need to change the name of what is happening when the Hubble Space Telescope “documents” the past?
A new space telescope is so exciting but this is an ugly website