If calculations are correct a team of Japanese astronomers using telescopes located in Hawaii have discovered a galaxy that is 12.91 billion years old, that would potentially make their discovery the oldest galaxy ever recorded.
The discovery was made by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan who used the Subaru and Keck telescopes located on the summit of Mauna Kea.
According to Richard Ellis of the California Institute of Technology in an interview with the Associated Press, the researchers used ‘watertight’ methods to estimate the galaxy’s age, methods he believes will hold up under intense scrutiny from other astronomers.
According to Ellis:
“It’s the most distant bullet-proof one that everybody believes.”
Other “older” galaxy’s have been discovered over the years including a 13.1 billion year old galaxy discovered with the help of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, however those discoveries and age claims were made using aging techniques that have not been generally accepted by the scientific community. Attempts to age the “older” galaxies have failed to hold up under generally accepted testing practices. Both the French team and the team from California who discovered 13 billion year old galaxies published their findings in the journal Nature.
Scientists believe the big bang theory occurred 13.7 billion years ago, if this new finding is considered correct that could mean the new more powerful telescopes being used by scientists are in fact delving further into the reaches of our universe than ever before.
In the meantime more tests will be conducted to validate the 12.91 billion year old claim.