Tuesday, 28 April 2009

New cosmic distance record

The other day I mentioned that we may have observed the most distant object in the universe so far. Well, it's been confirmed and the story has made the front page of the BBC news in "Cosmic blast sets distance mark". It's definitely a nice feeling to be the first to detect such a distant object from a ground-based observatory and to do it so quickly after the initial discovery by the Swift satellite. The object has a redshift of 8.2 (a distance of just over 13 billion light years) and blows away the previous redshift record. The press release has more details: "New Gama-Ray Burst smashes cosmic distance record".


Zuzana said...

This is indeed a time when you must love what you do!
I am off to read the article; I have been avoiding reading the news as it so depressive.;))

Keera Ann Fox said...

I was reading on Google news how "US, UK astronomers spot oldest event" and instantly thought of Hawaii. :-)

UK Reuters says "Telescope snaps most distant object" and mentions the Gemini Observatory by name! Dude, you're nearly famous!

So, do you guys celebrate stuff like this or what?

Tom said...

Given the massive PR dept. at Gemini I might have been famous if I worked there! ;) We observed the GRB at about the same time I think although we were certainly the first to announce the detection in the infrared and the first to detect the object after Swift. Gemini announced their detection a little while after, but then had to make another one to make a correction!