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NASA’s Hubble telescope spots farthest star ever seen

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WASHINGTON - NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has announced an extraordinary new benchmark: the detection of the farthest individual star to date."We’ve certainly seen galaxies further away, but that is the new record-holder for the most distanced star that we know of," NASA astronomer Jane Rigby told FOX Television Stations Group.The find is a huge leap further back in time from the previous single-star record holder, detected by Hubble in 2018.According to the space agency, the newly detected star is so far away that its light has taken 12.9 billion years to reach Earth.

This means the star existed within the first billion years after the universe’s birth in the big bang.NASA announced an extraordinary new benchmark: the detection of the farthest individual star to date. (Credit: NASA)Rigby told FOX she was "initially skeptical" of the discovery — which required Hubble’s power and magnification to make the detection possible — but found it to be the most sensible explanation.RELATED: NASA confirms a big milestone for planetary discovery: 5,000 exoplanets"Normally this star would be way too faint to see with Hubble," Rigby continued, adding, "But, you have that kind of magnification factor and it becomes possible." Astronomer Brian Welch of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the lead author of the paper describing the discovery, nicknamed the star "Earendel" which means "morning star" in Old English.

The paper was published Wednesday in the journal Nature.The research team estimates that Earendel is at least 50 times the mass of our Sun and millions of times as bright, rivaling the most massive stars known.Astronomers expect that Earendel will remain highly magnified for years to come.

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