The oldest and most distant galaxy ever seen by man has been unveiled by an international team of astronomers led by Yale University and the University of California at Santa Cruz. The galaxy was making stars when the universe was about five percent of its present age. The galaxy is still making stars at an accelerated rate compared to galaxies nearer to Earth.
EGS-zs8-1 was first seen by the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes due to the brightness of the galaxy and the blue color that might indicate Earth-like planets. The age and distance of the newly discovered galaxy were made possible by the MOSFIRE instrument on the W. M. Keck Observatory’s 10-meter telescope in Hawaii. EGS-zs8-1 began to shine about 670 million years after the universe was formed. The galaxy has existed for over 13 billion years. EGS-zs8-1 is forming star at a rate that is 80 percent faster than the Milky Way.
The color of the oldest galaxy ever seen is due to the reionization of hydrogen from a neutral state to an ionized state due to the energy released during star formation. The galaxy is roughly 13.3 billion light-years from Earth. While EGS-zs8-1 is the oldest and therefore the most distant galaxy observed by man to date, the astronomers expect to find still older galaxies.
One must understand that the light that was observed coming from EGS-zs8-1 actually was emitted 13.3 billion years ago. The galaxy should still be there and astronomers will know if it is or not in 13.3 billion more years. In such a vast amount of time the galaxy could have been consumed by another galaxy.