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Astronomers have discovered the farthest supergiant star

03.04.2018
Science, UK

A group of researchers working with the Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the most distant star that is not a supernova, known to date.
The light is located at a distance of about 9 billion light years from the Earth and hundreds of thousands of times greater in brightness than the Sun.

The star received the official designation MACS J1149 Lensed Star 1 (LS1), as well as the name Icarus in honor of the popular character of ancient Greek mythology. Her light reaching the Earth's land now began its journey when the universe was about three times younger - since the Big Bang a little over four and a half billion years have passed, and before the advent of the solar system there was still about the same time.

Although the star belongs to the blue supergiants, that is, it is very large, the opportunity to see it has become a huge success for scientists - usually at such a large distance from the Earth, scientists can only discern the light of whole galaxies combined or supernova. Known to date, "ordinary" single stars are located, at least hundreds of times closer to Earth. The new discovery helped to effect the effect of gravitational lensing - a cluster of galaxies MACS J1149 + 2223, located at a distance of about five billion light years from Earth, turned between the Earth and the open star, increasing its light by orders of magnitude. Thanks to this Icarus was detected with the help of a telescope.

Scientists expect that Ikar will answer many questions about the evolution of blue giants and other bright stars. Moreover, according to researchers, it is no exaggeration to consider that the discovery marks the transition of astronomy to a new stage in the study of remote single stars.

The study was published in the scientific publication Nature Astronomy.

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