The Hubble Satellite Spots the Farthest Star Ever Seen


Just recently, astronomers discovered a massive blue star which is referred as the “Icarus”. The star is located halfway across the universe. The Icarus is the farthermost star ever seen using the Hubble satellite. Even with the world’s largest telescope, it could be too faint to observe stars in the universe. However, astronomers were able to view this phenomenon which is also known as the “gravitational lensing”.

Most of the astronomers were able to utilize the Icarus to make their test of the theory about the dark matter. Icarus, the farthest known star, with an official name of MACS J1149+2223 Lensed Star 1 is located at a distant in a spiral galaxy. The star is so far away from Earth and it took 9 billion years to reach the planet Earth. Icarus was discovered by astronomers with the use of the gravitational lensing which in turn provide the astronomers with a new tool to study other distant stars in the galaxy. 

Gravitational lensing occurs when the gravity of an enormous star bends the light and acts as a lens in the space. With this, the lights are magnified which allows it to faint and the distant objects are seen. With the use of the Hubble Satellite, astronomers can study and observe the sensitivity and resolution of its gravitational lens. 

Astronomers who discovered the stars named it after the Greek Mythology who flew close to the sun with his wings and wax melted. Like its name suggests, the star had a fleeting moment and glows more than 2,000 times than the normal brightness of the star. The tremendous lightning of the star is due to its gravitational amplification. By studying the galaxy cluster, astronomers were able to conduct a test theory about the dark matter and the primordial black holes of the sun. The result of their observations did not support the hypothesis due to the fact that the light fluctuation from the star which is measured by the Hubble satellite seems to look different from the foreground galaxy clusters. 

Astronomers also hope to look for more stars like the Icarus when the NASA’s Webb Space Telescope launch in 2020. Scientists also found out that the data found from the Icarus matches the model of the blue supergiant star. The agreement then shows that the temperature of Icarus is twice of the sun.