Farthest-seen galaxy cluster’s distance determined


Japanese researchers have determined the distance of the farthest observed galaxy cluster ever seen from Earth using the Subaru Telescope on Hawaii Island.

The ancient galaxy cluster is located around 12.7 billion light-years from Earth, meaning it was formed just less than 1 billion years after the Big Bang created the universe 13.7 billion years ago, the research team said Tuesday.

“We would like to closely look at the cluster to figure out the origin of the structure of the universe,” said Nobunari Kashikawa, a member of the team who serves as associate professor at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

The cluster, found in the direction of the constellation Coma Berenices, consists of 30 galaxies within a distance of 3 million light-years, the team said. The major part of the cluster is 12.72 billion light-years from Earth.

Although an earlier report said the U.S. Hubble Telescope had detected a galaxy cluster candidate around 13.1 billion light-years from Earth, no accurate distance had been fixed for the cluster, the team said.