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Durham University scientists have helped confirm that a distant galaxy is the most remote object in the Universe ever observed.
The galaxy, first spotted by the Hubble space telescope, was seen as it would have appeared 600 million years after the Big Bang, according to research published in the journal Nature.
This was when the Universe, which is 13.7 billion years old, was only four per cent of its present age, the scientists said.
The research was carried out by a European team of astronomers led for the UK by scientists from the Universities of Durham and Bristol and contributed to by STFC's UK Astronomy Technology Centre.

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British astronomers have discovered a galaxy identified as the oldest and most distant physical object yet discovered in the Universe - so far away its light took 13.1 billion years to reach Earth.
Scientists from the universities of Bristol, Durham and Edinburgh said Thursday that they calculated the age of the galaxy using observations from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT), located in northern Chile.

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A European team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has measured the distance to the most remote galaxy so far. By carefully analysing the very faint glow of the galaxy they have found that they are seeing it when the Universe was only about 600 million years old (a redshift of 8.6). These are the first confirmed observations of a galaxy whose light is clearing the opaque hydrogen fog that filled the cosmos at this early time. The results were presented at an online press conference with the scientists on 19 October 2010, and will appear in the 21 October issue of the journal Nature.
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