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Space Science

Hubble Shatters the Cosmic Distance Record 65

An anonymous reader writes: One of the holy grails of cosmology is to measure, directly, exactly when the first stars and galaxies formed in our Universe. The Hubble Space Telescope has been pushing the distance record farther and farther back, with its measurements typically confirmed by ground-based, spectroscopic follow-ups. This time, however, the new record-holder was so distant that confirmation needed to be done from space: by Hubble itself. The result? A galaxy at a redshift of z=11.1, from when the Universe was just 400 million years old, or a mere 3% of its current age. This is a record that will likely stand until the James Webb Space Telescope launches, as it took a combination of incredible work and incredible luck to find a galaxy this far back with our current technology.
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Hubble Shatters the Cosmic Distance Record

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2016 @04:52AM (#51635199)

    For fuck sake! STOP! Pushing Forbes for Science articles!!!

    • Yeah, "An anonymous reader writes" my left foot.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      New owners need to promote their new acquisition. /. is like a shitty reddit or the old digg. Anything that'll generate clicks gets posted.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2016 @06:56AM (#51635481)

      This is one of the things which was discussed when there were requests for simple improvements so it's not something the new owners are unaware of. They are a publishing (and thus partly advertising) company. This is the time when they have to make a stand. Are they for acceptable (small a) advertising or are they going to push everyone to full on ad-blocking?

      Demands for a fair slashdot:

      • make a list of known malvertisers and block all links to them
      • change all Forbes links for some other better source - there should be no link to ever to Forbes
      • do not link to sites which try to ban ad blockers
      • try to aim for Nerd sites - think NASA / ESA / actual physicists - rather than mass market news sites
      • try to give a link to the original paper or preprint in one of the physics archives

      CAPTCHA: outburst - hopefully of common sense but I doubt it.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Friday March 04, 2016 @08:26AM (#51635689) Homepage Journal

        Indeed. And even if the new owners don't want to ban a site on the ideological grounds that it bans adblock users, they should at least see that this is disruptive.

        We get more irritated people talking about Forbes than the actual subject, and irritated people aren't wont to return for more.
        Internet users are fickle, and will leave if you give them reasons to. We are relatively thick skinned here, but the glass is overflowing, so don't keep adding drops of piss to it..

        Forbes goes, or I go. And presumably a lot of other oldtimers go too.

      • The new owners have already edited some past summaries to change the forbes links to less offensive links. Unfortunately they haven't automated the blocking of forbes yet and they're continuing the slashdot tradition of "editors" not reading what they publish before they publish it.

      • We removed the Forbes link. Will do better in the future.
    • by Hussman32 ( 751772 ) on Friday March 04, 2016 @12:13PM (#51636971)

      To be fair, the first link is to NASA.

  • by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Friday March 04, 2016 @05:06AM (#51635219)

    Has Forbes any kind of business relation with Slashdot? I can't find another explanation for the repetitive insistance on linking to it.

    It this behavior is going to continue, paid links should at least be identified, so those of us who won't ever whitelist Forbes in our adblocks don't have to hover every link to avoid opening the Forbes spam over and over again.

    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      I hope the following link doesn't hurt any cultural or linguistic sensitivities but it's an article on the subject from the largest Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

      http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnen... [telegraaf.nl]
    • by czert ( 3156611 )
      I wish I had mod points. Every fucking week there's several stories like this. A headline that seems interesting, only to find out it's on Forbes and written by that StartsWithABang idiot. Slashdot, stop wasting my time with this shit!
    • Hi again. Looks like youâ(TM)re still using an ad blocker. Please turn it off in order to continue into Forbes' ad-light experience.

      fuck this shit!

    • These are not paid links. whipslash has even edited out forbes links from past summaries after noticing the comment complaints. The explanation is simple: lazy editors who don't look at what they're publishing.

  • by QuantumLeaper ( 607189 ) on Friday March 04, 2016 @05:09AM (#51635233) Journal
    When a site does let you in just because you have an Ad Blocker, mean I won't use it, I don't mind if they bitch about having an Ad Blocker but Forbes doesn't even let you past, of F*k off is all I have to say to them.
    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Friday March 04, 2016 @06:30AM (#51635409) Journal

      F*k off is all I have to say to them

      I think that sentiment is mutual. Ads provide them with income and if you block them they don't want you there. Which is fine: their house, their rules. Should Slashdot link to such sites though? I don't know... what I do know is that Slashdot should stop linking to Forbes because it's a rubbish magazine: the articles are often about highly interesting subjects but they lack substance, and in most cases there are far better (and free) alternative sources.

    • Apparently it is not all ad-blockers that Forbes blocks. I use uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger [FF] and a couple of thousand entries in an Hosts file. I see the Forbes article just fine.
    • by Bite The Pillow ( 3087109 ) on Friday March 04, 2016 @11:50AM (#51636823)

      Even worse, the NASA site renders nothing with javascript disabled.

      I can understand a site blocking users that don't generate revenue, but requiring scripts to display information funded by taxes doesn't feel right.

      • Requiring the tax payer to spend zillions of dollars to pay web developer to go through all the hoops to make the website work with 90's technology to satisfy the whims of stubborn nerds is the real problem.

        Do you also insist on gopher and a newsfeed?

    • I'm in using uBlock & uMatrix. What do you use? Something with more granularity might help. There are a couple forbes subdomains I need to allow in uMatrix, but none that are on a blacklist (for ad horseshit, etc.)

  • by no-body ( 127863 ) on Friday March 04, 2016 @05:32AM (#51635299)

    absolutely nobody knows what happened before this last Big Bang which supposedly started this universe..

    Another apparent joke seems to be a recent computer simulation stating, that the chance that the only earth-like inhabitable planet is this earth, is high.
    And this out of how many super-clusters consisting of spiral galaxies, with a total number of stars going into what - trillions...

    And the gods exhaled... well, from where, what and when did they inhale to be able to exhale?

    • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Friday March 04, 2016 @05:35AM (#51635307) Homepage

      Someone's been inhaling something...

    • by dremon ( 735466 )
      Trillions is not infinite and so may very well fit into the product of certain probabilities.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You're assuming that time and space are concepts which have eternal and infinite validity.
      Just because we (or you) can't conceive of something does not mean that it cannot be.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      absolutely nobody knows what happened before this last Big Bang which supposedly started this universe..

      Forbes know, but you'll need to turn off your Ad Blocker to find out.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That article you referred to mentioned that it was using current exoplanet data, so it would be skewed to the larger planets we tend to find due to our techniques. As better data becomes available it would be surprising if it didn't project more Earth-like planets.

    • Another apparent joke seems to be a recent computer simulation stating, that the chance that the only earth-like inhabitable planet is this earth, is high.

      The very same simulation indicated Earth itself shouldn't exist. I would suggest that it is the simulation that needs work, not reality.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Back to boycotting Slashdot, after I've just gotten over the Beta disaster...fúck you lot, if you don't have basic respect for your community, to not constantly link websites that a huge portion of the community is calling on you to stop posting, then just fúck off again for another couple of years, before I try giving the site my attention again...

    • We will stop linking to it. However the first link is the primary NASA source. These articles are user submitted and voted up in the firehose.
  • TFA (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 04, 2016 @10:19AM (#51636181)

    Thanks to an incredible combination of luck, technology and human ingenuity, the Hubble Space Telescope has identified, measured and confirmed a galaxy farther away in space — and closer to the Big Bang — than ever before. Because the Universe is expanding, and the fabric of space in between galaxies expands as time goes on, the more distant a galaxy actually is, the more its emitted light gets stretched (or redshifted) before it reaches our eyes. Previously, the Universe’s most distant galaxy was known as EGS8p7, whose light was redshifted by an extra factor of 8.63 before it reached our eyes, telling us that it must have come from 13.24 billion years ago: when the Universe was just 573 million years old, or only 4% of its current age. But that record has been shattered, announced an international team of scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope.

    The newest record-holder has had its light redshifted by a whopping factor of 11.1, meaning the light is even older: it was emitted 13.40 billion years ago, when the Universe was only 407 million years old, or closer in time to the Big Bang than any other galaxy ever seen before. “We’ve taken a major step back in time, beyond what we’d ever expected to be able to do with Hubble. We see GN-z11 at a time when the universe was only three percent of its current age,” announced Pascal Oesch, the principal investigator of this project. You have to be extremely not just skilled, but also extremely lucky to see a galaxy this far back in time using the Hubble Space Telescope.

    Thanks to an incredible combination of luck, technology and human ingenuity, the Hubble Space Telescope has identified, measured and confirmed a galaxy farther away in space — and closer to the Big Bang — than ever before. Because the Universe is expanding, and the fabric of space in between galaxies expands as time goes on, the more distant a galaxy actually is, the more its emitted light gets stretched (or redshifted) before it reaches our eyes. Previously, the Universe’s most distant galaxy was known as EGS8p7, whose light was redshifted by an extra factor of 8.63 before it reached our eyes, telling us that it must have come from 13.24 billion years ago: when the Universe was just 573 million years old, or only 4% of its current age. But that record has been shattered, announced an international team of scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope.

    The newest record-holder has had its light redshifted by a whopping factor of 11.1, meaning the light is even older: it was emitted 13.40 billion years ago, when the Universe was only 407 million years old, or closer in time to the Big Bang than any other galaxy ever seen before. “We’ve taken a major step back in time, beyond what we’d ever expected to be able to do with Hubble. We see GN-z11 at a time when the universe was only three percent of its current age,” announced Pascal Oesch, the principal investigator of this project. You have to be extremely not just skilled, but also extremely lucky to see a galaxy this far back in time using the Hubble Space Telescope.

    The skill part is knowing that only the brightest galaxies at these great distances will be visible, since the apparent brightness falls off as the distance-to-the-source squared. The brightest light generated comes from the hottest, most massive stars, which not only predominantly emit ultraviolet light, but which ionize hydrogen atoms, causing the brightest and most powerful transition of all in a hydrogen atom: the Lyman- line, which comes at a wavelength of just 121.567 nanometers, well out of the visible-light range of ~400 to 700 nanometers. As you look farther and farther away, the redshift takes effect, meaning that this line gets shifted all the way through the visible light and into the infrared: to a new wavelength of 121.567 × (1 + 11.1), where 11.1 is the redshift, or 1471 nanometers. Hubble is equipped with a spectrograph, meaning it can break up the light into the individual

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Friday March 04, 2016 @10:45AM (#51636363)

    http://www.spacetelescope.org/... [spacetelescope.org]

    hey slashdot editors, if you are reporting about space and/or science, stick with links to websites dedicated to that topic!

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday March 04, 2016 @11:26AM (#51636609)

    Well there's an interesting development, the story was *apparently* not submitted by StartsWithABang. But it's still his damn blog and the same damn summary that instantly makes it obvious who wrote it and that the link will end on the turd forbes.

    So did Whiplash block StartsWithABlog from posting and now he's coming in through the back way?
    I can't help but notice it was timothy again who edited and posted it to the front page. Is he on the take?

  • A better story (Score:4, Informative)

    by fnj ( 64210 ) on Friday March 04, 2016 @11:41AM (#51636719)

    Here [nasa.gov] is a site reporting this story which is (1) NOT a disgusting malvertising tool like Forbes, and (2) a little closer to the source.

  • in their [soylentnews.org] coverage of this story. Just sayin'.
  • So, why are we able to see 13.4 billion light years away, but not able to see that last 0.4 billion? Is it just by chance that our telescopes are almost powerful enough to see the edge, or is there some other thing at the edge that's preventing us from seeing all the way through?

  • Sometimes, this type of discovery leads to a revision of the estimate of the age of the universe. (The reasoning being, how could structure X have formed only Y million years after the big bang?)

    Has anyone seen that happening this time around?

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