The farthest star ever seen - School of Science, the University of Tokyo
Apr 3, 2018

The farthest star ever seen


Overview of the press release

The distant Universe has been studied by observing galaxies that consist of many stars; however, it has been impossible to observe individual stars in these galaxies because the light from the stars is too faint to be detected. An international team including researchers at the University of Tokyo (Masamune Oguri and Ryota Kawamata) and Tohoku University (Takahiro Morishita) took advantage of gravitational lensing, a natural telescope that amplifies a very distant star’s light, to pinpoint the farthest star, located 9 billion light years from Earth. This star, which was dubbed “Icarus’’ by the team, not only set a new record for the farthest star ever seen, but also turned out to be useful for testing one theory of dark matter.


Figure: An image of Icarus taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The left panel shows the location of Icarus within the galaxy cluster MACS J1149+2223. The right panels show enlarged images around Icarus. Icarus, which was not seen in 2011 (upper right panel), was detected in 2016. (credit: NASA/ESA/P. Kelly)


Publication details

Journal Nature Astronomy
Title Extreme magnification of an individual star at redshift 1.5 by a galaxy-cluster lens
Authors P. L. Kelly, J. M. Diego, S. Rodney, N. Kaiser, T. Broadhurst, A. Zitrin, T. Treu, P. G. Perez-Gonzalez, T. Morishita, M. Jauzac, J. Selsing, M. Oguri, L. Pueyo, T. W. Ross, A. V. Filippenko, N. Smith, J. Hjorth, S. B. Cenko, X. Wang, D. A. Howell, J. Richard, B. L. Frye, S. W. Jha, R. J. Foley, C. Norman, M. Bradac, W. Zheng, G. Brammer, A. M.. Benito, A. Cava, L. Christensen, S. E. de Mink, O. Graur, C. Grillo, R. Kawamata, J.-P. Kneib, T. Matheson, C. McCully, M. Nonino, I. Perez-Fournon, A. G. Riess, P. Rosati, K. B. Schmidt, K. Sharon, B. J. Weiner
DOI 10.1038/s41550-018-0430-3
Paper link

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