Hubble Space Telescope Finds Most Distant Star Ever Seen

The star, dubbed Icraus, is nine billion light years away from Earth.

The Hubble Space Telescope recently helped researchers view the most distant star ever seen. (CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Corbis via Getty Images

The Hubble Space Telescope just helped scientists find the most distant star ever seen — one that exists nine billion light years from Earth. Time reports that astronomers affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, were able to observe the star, now called Icarus, thanks to a rare cosmic phenomenon called gravitational lensing. The effect bends light from distant galaxies to let researchers make out individual stars that would otherwise be too far away to see.

“You can see individual galaxies out there, but this star is at least 100 times farther away than the next individual star we can study, except for supernova explosions,” Patrick Kelly, the study’s lead author who serves on the faculty at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, said in a statement, according to Time. 

Icacrus’ distance of nine billion light years means that the star has been traveling across the universe back to Earth for that amount of time. To put that in perspective, the universe is thought to be only about 13.8 billion years old.

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