Astronomers report spotting most distant object known

NEW YORK (AP) — Astronomers say they’ve spotted the most distant object known, a baby galaxy so far away that its starlight may have taken 12.2 billion years to reach Earth.
That means it’s being seen as it appeared when the universe was only about 820 million years old, just a “blink of an eye” after the universe began, said astronomy professor James Graham of the University of California at Berkeley.
Astronomers have not been able to make out individual stars in the galaxy; only their combined light has be detected. It’s the earliest starlight ever seen, Graham said.
Studying such early galaxies should help scientists discover how present-day galaxies formed and when, Graham said. The baby galaxy may have been on its way to merging with other infant galaxies to form a mature one.
Scientists have spotted a series of infant galaxies at huge distances in recent years. The newfound galaxy, called RD1, doesn’t set a record by much. Under standard assumptions, RD1 is 12.22 billion light years away, about 90 million light-years farther than the last record-holder.