“the last blank bit of the map of the Universe”

[Image Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler] The Irish Times follows the BBC in reporting the publication in Nature of detailed observations of the most distant cosmic object to be detected by telescope, GRB 090423 – a gamma ray burst with a red-shift of 8.2, corresponding to a distance of around 13.035 billion light years, when the Universe was only 630 million years old. It’s confirmation of the initial findings noted back in April this year – when I incorrectly attributed the sighting to the Spitzer Space Telescope rather than Swift. Still, telescopes, eh? There’s also an informative Nature video report here [not embeddable]. And here’s a short Nasa animation of a gamma ray burst from the earlier report of the Swift observation. [Video Credit: NASA/Swift/Cruz deWilde]

Adds Embedded Nature video report.