ASU professor involved in discovery of distant galaxy

ASU professor involved in discovery of distant galaxy

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

An ASU professor helps to make another big discovery. A distant galaxy that could be billions of years old.

On any given clear night you may look up at the sky and wonder what is really out there. Professor Sangeeta Malhotra is working to find out.

"You can put a filter in front of your camera, so what we do is make special filters that make certain types of light and gives us a big boost in finding special kinds of galaxies," says Malhotra.

Malhotra has been studying galaxies for 13 years. She collaborated on this project with fellow professors and students, and made a major discovery.

As you look at this image, you can see a green dot in the middle of the screen. That is the galaxy they just discovered. It's believed to be about 12.8 billion years old.

"In some ways it's going back to our ancestors even more than we can do on earth… how did we come about."

Malhotra's work was a collaboration with the country of Chile. that is where the camera and equipment stands on a mountain in the middle of the desert, high above any lights on the ground that may hurt the view into space.

"We are constantly pushing back to more and more distant galaxies and what we're hoping to do is to fail in one of our searches one of these years. Because if we go farther and farther back and then we stop seeing them, that was when things hadn't started working out yet. So galaxies hadn't started forming yet."

They're currently building a new observatory in Chile in the same area.

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