back to article Most distant observed star is blue – and it isn't alone

It was a little more than a year ago that NASA's Hubble Space Telescope spotted the most distant star ever observed: the 12.9 billion light-years-away Earendel. Now the James Webb Space Telescope has taken its own measurements, offering an unprecedented glimpse of an object that formed within the first billion years of the …

  1. Paul_Murphy
    Thumb Up


    Thumbs up for science - and combines luck, engineering, timing and patience for us to be able to see and interpret this.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    JWST living up to the expectations

    May JWST long bring us more information on distant stars and cosmic events.

  3. Michael Hoffmann Silver badge

    Éalá Éarendel Engla Beorhtast

    Hail Earendel, brightest of angels.

    Dang, that guy has sailed far with that silmaril on his brow.

    Or is Middle-Earth actually to be found way, way out there?!

    1. m4r35n357

      Re: Éalá Éarendel Engla Beorhtast

      Just the Walls of Night ;)

    2. Bebu Silver badge

      Re: Éalá Éarendel Engla Beorhtast

      《Hail Earendel, brightest of angels.》

      The morning star ... and I suppose Lucifer :)

      I was also thinking Earendel (and Elwing) from the Tolkien mythos as he sailed Vingilot into the starless void.

      These images are from so far back into the dawn of creation that they might as well be the morning of the universe and this is a morning star (or bringer of light.)

      Just getting my head around what these observations really mean - this is science answering questions that were until very recently the sole preserve of creation myths. Anyone whose mind is even slightly larger than a quantum fluctuation in the void must be in awe of these serendipitous images and their implications.

      1. TimMaher Silver badge

        Re: Éalá Éarendel Engla Beorhtast

        Awake! For morning, in the bowl of night, has flung the stone that puts the stars to flight.

        Thanks to Fitzgerald 5th translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam.

      2. Glenn Amspaugh

        Re: Éalá Éarendel Engla Beorhtast

        Waiting for them to find Velveeta, the beloved star of quick and easy dinner time and processed cheese-like products.

        “In the eastern sky, Velveeta, beloved morning star of the elves and handmaid of the dawn, rose and greeted Noxzema, bringer of the flannel tongue, and clanging on her golden garbage pail, bade him make ready the winged rickshaw of Novocaine, herald of the day. Thence came rosy-eyeballed Ovaltine, she of the fluffy mouth, and lightly kissed the land east of the Seas. In other words, it was morning.”

    3. Spherical Cow

      Re: Éalá Éarendel Engla Beorhtast

      "Or is Middle-Earth actually to be found way, way out there?!"

      I think it was a different place which existed a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    a massive distortion in space-time

    Obviously, Eddie's in the space-time continuum...

    Hmm, nearest icon to Marvin --->

    1. Gort99

      Re: a massive distortion in space-time

      Is he?

    2. Andre Carneiro

      Re: a massive distortion in space-time

      So who is Eddie then, exactly, then? ;)

      1. mirachu

        Re: a massive distortion in space-time

        The computer of Heart of Gold. Duh.

  5. Tom 7 Silver badge

    The universe is so old its getting wrinkles?

    Time to move on!

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: The universe is so old its getting wrinkles?

      Bet you'll have a few wrinkles too when you're 13 billion years old!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "One discovered star cluster, thought to be around ten million years old, is believed to be gravitationally bound – meaning it likely still exists today."

    Err, this seems unlikely after 12.9 billion years.

    1. pluraquanta

      Most stars collapse to white dwarfs, they'll last trillions of years.

  7. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    Names (An Aside)

    The play 'Translations' about English cartographers mapping Ireland raises the point that people in different places often have different names for teh same geographical features, and deciding which name to put on the map can be problematical. In Hemel Hempstead, where I grew up, there is a road at one end called 'Red Lion Lane', but it has a different name at the other end (I forget what now, it has been a while).

    It is interesting to see what names astronomers give to new discoveries. Tolkien's fantasy world still provides much inspiration, but I wonder if I can look forward to the next few decades when we'll have stars and nebulae named after Discworld (R) characters.

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: Names (An Aside)

      I look forward to a galazzy called Rincewind!

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Re: Names (An Aside)

        So we can stare into the back of its rapidly retreating body?

      2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: Names (An Aside)

        I reckon that "Twoflower" could be a nice name for a nebula or pair of interacting galaxies. (Although I doubt that 'foul ol' Ron' will be used any time soon.)

  8. breakfast Silver badge

    A hot minute

    It's interesting to me that we talk about what a star "is" like when we're describing how it was 12.9 billion years ago. It's not wrong from our frame of reference, but it's at the extreme end of isness.

    1. pluraquanta

      Re: A hot minute

      That's always true. The sun isn't where it is, it's where it was 8 minutes ago.

      1. Andre Carneiro

        Re: A hot minute

        Light is fast. But the universe is big. Very big. You won’t believe how vastly, mind boggingly big etc. etc. ;)

  9. I am David Jones


    Can you see it with the naked eye or do you need a cardboard loo roll?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So…

      Depends on where you are and whether your eys are sensitive to IR light

    2. MrDamage Silver badge

      Re: So…

      It's too far away for the humble loo roll. You'll need the xmas wrapping paper roll.

  10. Fred Daggy Silver badge

    Something Blue, Far Away?

    So, there was something blue, far away in space and time? ... why did i think it was something else?

  11. Richard Pennington 1

    Not in the Shire ...

    It would take a while ... more than eleventy-one years. Even with the One Ring (of accursed memory), you're not getting There and Back Again.

  12. Alistair Silver badge

    Far away, and blue?

    Is it charging at us? Is it the Light At The End Of The Tunnel? Should we be moving our galaxy out of the way soon?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So where is it really ?

    The star is 12.8B light years from us - in today’s money.

    But what we see is not 12.9B years old - otherwise the universe would need to be around 26B years old, whereas accepted values are around 13B

    So what are we seeing and where was it at the time of the light that reaches us ?

    There are no doubt a whole set of differential equations to do for which I am no longer equipped

  14. david 12 Silver badge

    A wrinkle in Time?

    Can we Tesseract out to get a closer look at it?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Ēarendel, an Anglo-Saxon mythological figure, the Morning Star, or Rising Star, or Dawn" so no, it's not "Old English for morning star", it's a mythological figure called Morning Star.

    I do appreciate the connection to Lucifer. :D

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like