Hubble finds galaxy with record-breaking redshift

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The uncertainty of science: Using the Hubble Space Telescope astronomers have discovered a galaxy with the largest redshift ever measured, 11.1, making it the most distant object so far measured and only about 400 million years after the Big Bang..

The uncertainty is that all theories have said that this galaxy was not supposed to exist at that time.

However, the discovery also raises many new questions as the existence of such a bright and large galaxy is not predicted by theory. “It’s amazing that a galaxy so massive existed only 200 million to 300 million years after the very first stars started to form. It takes really fast growth, producing stars at a huge rate, to have formed a galaxy that is a billion solar masses so soon,” explains Garth Illingworth of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Marijn Franx, a member of the team from the University of Leiden highlights: “The discovery of GN-z11 was a great surprise to us, as our earlier work had suggested that such bright galaxies should not exist so early in the Universe.” His colleague Ivo Labbe adds: “The discovery of GN-z11 showed us that our knowledge about the early Universe is still very restricted. How GN-z11 was created remains somewhat of a mystery for now.”


  • PeterF

    The “earlier work” suggests that such bright galaxies should not have existed so early in the universe.
    How are they going to “adjust” the Big Bang Theory to explain this?
    Why does every new measurement of the actual universe tend to disprove the Big Bang Theory?
    As far as I can tell, the only empirical data that”proves” the Big Bang Theory is the red shift.
    Are there any “simpler” explanations?

  • wayne

    This is amazing to me.
    Can anyone clarify the time-frame for when “inflation” occurred in the early Universe?
    Dr. Susskind from Stanford, remarked a few years ago, that Cosmology was poised for a major paradigm-shift & “relatively soon” in his opinion. He just didn’t know where it would come from…
    (Dr. Penrose & his Conformal Cyclic Cosmology, is extremely interesting to me.)

    What’s the status of the massive Telescope in Hawaii (TMT?) Are the Hipsters still whining & did Hawaii finally fold?

    Correct me if I’m mistaken, but aren’t ground-based telescopes on the verge of being able to see further (& further back) than the Hubble? Is it the Keck (?) telescope that they plan on parking at a LaGrange point– and is that still in-process?

  • Rocco

    When I see these types of discoveries I just say WOW.
    Looking at Laniakea from this video link gives me an even bigger understanding of how really BIG and FAR way things are in our understanding.

  • wayne

    [You might be interested in Dr. Penrose’s Theories. Still has a Bang-Theory, but it is fascinating.]
    -I’m in no way qualified to explain the Bang-Theory, but from what I do understand, it makes logical sense from what we actually know.
    We are still missing some Fundamental knowledge of all this.

  • wayne

    Rocco wrote:
    Ditto–“Blow your Mind type WOW-ZA!”
    If I’m not totally mistaken, the size of the actual Universe is vastly larger than the “13 billion light-years” we all “know” about. It’s bigger than from just the point from when photons were liberated from the primordial particle soup. (on the order of 60-90 billion light years (?) –correct me if I’m “crazy” on that.)

  • wayne

    Excuse me, not Keck (?)
    Is it the James Webb scope, going up in 2018??

  • Garry

    Wayne, it looks like you just started coming to this site regularly. Mr. Z has written several updates on the Hawaii telescope recently; you can find the articles by going to “site search” on the lower right and putting in “Hawaii telescope,” for example.

    In a nutshell, the sense I get from Mr. Z’s writings and links on the subject is that no decision has been made on the new Hawaii telescopes, but it looks less and less likely that they’ll be built there.

    You can find some great stuff by playing with the site search.

  • wayne

    Yes, you are correct Sir.
    Thank-you. I will sincerely attempt, to refrain from being such a newbie-boy. (Just got myself addicted to The Space Show as well, downloaded scores of hours of audio.)
    Kudo’s to The Management for attracting such an educated & civil readership.
    –Love the Science & enjoy the political bent.
    and… seriously– if anyone catches me babbling too much, feel free to let me know– no offense taken whatsoever.

  • Garry


    I’ve been coming here for at least 5 years, and I’ve never seen anyone mention anything about newbies; that doesn’t happen here. Mr. Z posts interesting things, and some of us respond (maybe not often enough). I look forward to reading the comments on this site; as you mentioned, there are a lot of intelligent people here making a lot of thoughtful comments, and the comments not only teach me a lot, but give me a lot of food for thought.

    As I see it, this is Mr. Z’s website, and he’s gracious enough to let us post our thoughts and reactions here, with more tolerance than any of us can rightfully expect. With very few exceptions, that’s enough for all of us to make thoughtful responses, which is the way it should be.

    I’m very happy to see your comments; it’s great to hear a new voice. Please don’t worry about anyone thinking you’re a newbie; I’ve never seen evidence of anyone here looking down on anyone else.

    If anyone knows of any other sites with similar decorum between posters, I’d love to check it out.

  • wayne

    No problem! did not take offense at all. self-deprecation on my part, didn’t mean to imply anything negative.
    Yes–“a lot of intelligent people here making a lot of thoughtful comments.”

    “If anyone knows of any other sites with similar decorum between posters, I’d love to check it out.”
    Absolutely– it really is hard to find quality discourse. I learn a lot from everyone here & I think I have some tidbits to contribute as well. (I know a little bit about a lot of things, which alone makes me dangerous! (HA) but some topics I am well versed in & more than glad to share.)
    Appreciate everyone’s input & experience. You all like Science! count me in!

    I would take this opportunity to tell Local Fluff that I don’t want to muzzle anyone & should not have put forth my own bait-tactics toward his comments.

    – Really enjoy folks who take the time to be clear in their reasoning, even if I disagree. I’m a trained-observer by profession & a “people-watcher” at heart.
    -60% of all communication is non-verbal. I think our text-obsessed culture suffers somewhat in that regard. I still write letters & even fashion my email in “letter” form.
    I do try to be as precise & as clear as I can, but will inevitably slip up in haste, on occasion.

    Yes– have grown to appreciate Mr. Z quite a bit myself. What a great way to earn a living– doing what he likes.
    -Have my eye on the “Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space,” Grand-daughter has a B-day coming up.

  • “-Have my eye on the “Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space,” Grand-daughter has a B-day coming up.”

    Email me direct and you can get an autographed copy for her.

  • Wayne

    Mr. Z– will definitely follow up on that with you! She’s pretty tech-savvy, but we have instilled a love of physical books into her. (And, I want to read it myself!)
    I’m now hooked on The Space Show with Dr. Livingston, love that long-form format!

  • wodun


    You might enjoy this too,

    A little more academic than the Space Show. Its mainly reports on projects, authors discussing books or articles, and people giving paired down presentations that they gave at a conference someplace. Its a little dry at times.

  • wayne

    Thank you very much.
    Spotted some interesting topics immediately. (enjoy academic type material & prefer the “complex” over the dumbed-down popular-media type stuff.) I can always fast-forward if it’s too dry, or too deep-in-the-weeds for me!)
    -Slowly re-watching Dr. Susskind’s Physics lectures for the 4th time– heavy on the math! but, pick up more-n-more each time. (Har– now able to recognize the scribblings on Sheldon’s white-boards in The Big Bang Theory!)

  • steve mackelprang

    Dr.Halton Arp has an alternative explanation for red shift. He was part of the mainstream until he started noticing and bringing attention to some “hard to explain” observations he made while working at Palomar. This put him at odds with the “establishment.” He wrote a couple of books which explain his ideas and his disenchantment with the mainstream.

  • Dick Eagleson

    First, a question of my own – what is your own theory of the origin of the universe if you, as is strongly implied by the tone of your post, don’t accept the Big Bang Theory? Are you a Steady State guy, or do you have some third explanation?

    Now, down to cases:

    Why does every new measurement of the actual universe tend to disprove the Big Bang Theory?

    That’s easy, they don’t. This new observation hardly “disproves” the Big Bang Theory. It simply appears anomalous with respect to aspects of current theoretical models of how the post-Bang universe is thought to have evolved over its first half billion or so years. This is far from the first empirical observation that has made trouble for the theoretical astrophysics community and it is wildly unlikely to be the last. That the Big Bang actually happened isn’t really in doubt (see below), but there is a lot of uncertainty about what took place in the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang. The speed of light in the very early universe, for instance, may have been considerably higher than it is now. Perhaps other things we now regard as physical constants also had different values waaaaay back in the day. The theoreticians will be accommodating new observations and refining their models for a long while yet.

    As far as I can tell, the only empirical data that ”proves” the Big Bang Theory is the red shift.

    No. The red shift was just the first astronomical evidence for a Big Bang, but it was hardly conclusive. The Big Bang concept wasn’t even articulated until nearly a century after the red shift was first discovered in the mid-19th century. In the late 1920’s, Georges Le Maitre and Edwin Hubble found that there was a mathematical relationship between observed red shift and distance. This discovery was the basis of early Big Bang speculations.

    The most compelling empirical evidence for the Big Bang Theory, though, is not red shift but the existence of what has come to be called the Cosmic Microwave Background, a radio-frequency “echo” of the Big Bang that appears everywhere in the sky. It was discovered by accident in the mid-60’s by two telecommunications engineers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, working for Bell Labs on early communications satellite experiments. They won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery.

    There are also experiments of various sorts that have been conducted in very high-energy particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider that produce, on a tiny scale, effects that should only have been seen in the natural universe very very shortly after the Big Bang – tiny fractions of a second afterward in some cases.

    There’s a lot of material publicly available on all this stuff. I recommend you look into it. You could do worse than by starting on Wikipedia.

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