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Astronomers find hydrogen gas signal emitted before Earth begun – Lab Relocations

Astronomers have managed to detect hydrogen gas signals from a galaxy that existed way before planet Earth even formed – the galaxy is located more than five billion light years away.

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Almost twice the previous distance that was measured back in 2014, the international team, used the Very Larger Array (VLA) of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in America. The researchers have stated that the galaxy would have contained billions of young stars which would have been surrounded by large clouds of hydrogen gas.

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Dr Ximena Fernandez from the Rutgers University, who was the lead author of the study, had this to say: “Due to the upgrade of the VLA, this is the first time we’ve been able to directly measure atomic hydrogen in a galaxy this far from Earth. These signals would have begun their journey before our planet even existed, and after five billion years of travelling through space without hitting anything, they’ve fallen into the telescope and allowed us to see this distant galaxy for the very first time.”

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Researchers stumbled across the hydrogen signals after around 178 hours of observing time with the VLA as part of a survey call COSMOS HI Large Extragalactic Survey (CHILES). The survey will finally come to an end once the team has notched up 1,000 observing time hours.

The team of astronomers included researchers from all around the world. The previous record was achieved in 2014 by two researchers from Swinburne University who were able to detect hydrogen in a galaxy that was three billion light years away.

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