Radio signals from galaxy nearly nine billion light-years away received by scientist on Earth
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A radio signal from a galaxy nine billion light-years away from Earth has been received by scientists.
In what is an incredible discovery that could lead to scientists learning more about the universe's early years, the signal was detected by a unique wavelength known as a '21 centimeter line' or the 'hydrogen line'.
Because hydrogen is spread out across the universe, it's a way for scientists to map-out and identify the location of galaxies.
Astronomers use radio telescopes to pick up 21-cm line wavelength signals to map the universe.
This wavelength is reportedly emitted by neutral hydrogen atoms, Space.com said on Friday (20 January).
Scientists in Canada and India captured the signal from a 'star-forming galaxy' with the rather complicated name, 'SDSSJ0826+5630' by using a huge telescope in India.
Researches used the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope.
The signal was emitted when the Milky Way, the 13.8 billion-year-old galaxy where are home planet resides - was only 4.9 billion years old.
“It’s the equivalent to a look-back in time of 8.8 billion years,” author and McGill University Department of Physics post-doctoral cosmologist Arnab Chakraborty shared in a statement.
Until recently, 21-cm-wavelength radio waves had only been recorded from nearby galaxies.
“A galaxy emits different kinds of radio signals," he said. "Until now, it’s only been possible to capture this particular signal from a galaxy nearby, limiting our knowledge to those galaxies closer to Earth.”
It's the first time a signal of this type has been detected from such a huge distance.
The incredible discovery was announced last week in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Journal.
The naturally occurring phenomenon known as gravitational lensing helped scientists capture the signal.
The study's co-author Nirupam Roy said: "Gravitational lensing magnifies the signal coming from a distant object to help us peer into the early universe."
This signal was bent by the presence of another galaxy and magnified, allowing the telescope to pick it up, in this case.
Researches were able to measure the fas composition of the far away galaxy the signal came from by thanks to the signal itself.
They found that the atomic mass of the fas content of distant galaxy was almost twice the mass of the stars visible to us.
Although this means aliens didn't contact Earth on this occasion, the signal is still a huge discovery in helping scientists understand how stars and galaxies evolve.