Galaxy Cluster Found 12.72 Billion Light Years Away

Published: April 25, 2012

That’s the furthest-flung cluster ever discovered – and also the oldest, as what they saw was the cluster just one billion years after the Big Bang.

Japanese astronomers have once again reminded us of just how tiny and insignificant we are relative to the vastness of the cosmos, as they’ve claimed to have found the most distant cluster of galaxies discovered yet. With the aid of a telescope in Hawaii, researchers from the Graduate University of Advanced Studies and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan plumbed the depths of the universe to locate the cluster, which they’ve pinned at being 12.72 billion light years away. Of course, what they were actually looking at was what those galaxies looked like 12.72 billion years ago, as that is how long it’s taken the light from that part of the universe to reach here. That means that the researchers caught a glimpse of what the universe looked like just one billion short years after the Big Bang. They hope that their findings will help astronomers and astrophysicists determine just how the universe expanded in its halcyon days.