What is the most distant star from Earth

astronomy : Farthest star discovered in space

With the help of a “natural telescope”, astronomers have observed the most distant star in the sky to date. The blue super giant, called "Icarus", shines nine billion light years away, as the team led by Patrick Kelly from the University of California in Berkeley reports in the journal "Nature Astronomy". "This star is at least 100 times farther away than the closest single star we can study," says Kelly.

A sun as a burning glass

Normally, even with the best telescopes, individual stars can only be seen up to a distance of about 100 million light years. The stars of distant galaxies merge into a milky shimmer. Only supernova explosions, in which a dying star briefly shines brightly, or the gamma ray flashes of merging neutron stars can be seen over even greater distances.

Icarus shines in a galaxy five billion light years away

A cosmic coincidence came to the aid of the researchers: According to Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, a large mass bends space, so it bundles the rays of a light source behind it like a lens. Such gravitational lenses are "amazing cosmic telescopes," says co-author Alex Filippenko of the University of California. Individual stars can also serve as a lens and achieve a thousandfold gain. For this, the background star, lens star and the observer on earth must be exactly in one row. This was achieved with the “Hubble” space telescope: Icarus lit up when exactly in front of him a star similar to our sun passed by in a galaxy five billion light-years away and amplified the light of the blue giant star 2000 times. (dpa)

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