“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.

Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger.

While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.