Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have spotted a bright galaxy located a record-breaking 13.4 billion light years away, the most distant galaxy found yet.
The galaxy, named GN-z11 and located in the direction of the constellation Ursa Major, formed just 400 million years after the Big Bang explosion that marks the beginning of the universe.
Hubble's Recent Discoveries and Stunning Photos
"We've taken a major step back in time, beyond what we'd ever expected to be able to do with Hubble," Yale University astronomer Pascal Oesch said in a statement.
Oesch and colleagues used Hubble's light-splitting spectrograph to image the unexpectedly bright galaxy, which is pumping out new stars at a rate that is about 20 times faster than what the Milky Way is producing today.
The scientists then analyzed how wavelengths of light from the galaxy had shifted due to the distance traveled. The phenomenon is similar to how the sound of train changes as it recedes into the distance.
Previously, the most distant galaxy was 13.2 billion years away.