Hubble Space Telescope data have yielded hundreds of candidates for galaxies with redshifts observed less than one billion years from the Big Bang, but so far distances have been confirmed for only a few of them. Using the newly commissioned MOSFIRE spectrograph on the Keck I telescope, Steven Finkelstein and co-workers have detected a galaxy with an emission line that can be confirmed at a redshift of 7.51, placing it at an epoch 700 million years after the Big Bang. That makes it the most distant spectroscopically confirmed galaxy, This galaxy's colours are consistent with a significant metal content, and it has a surprisingly high star-formation rate of about 330 solar masses per year, more than 100-fold greater than that seen in the Milky Way. The authors suggest that there may be many more such sites of intense star formation in the early Universe than previously expected.
- New distance record for galaxies (News & Views p459, doi: 10.1038/502459a)
- A galaxy rapidly forming stars 700 million years after the Big Bang at redshift 7.51 (Letter p524, doi: 10.1038/nature12657)
Recent Hot Topics
Sign up for Nature Research e-alerts to get the lastest research in your inbox every week.