Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

6/12/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Understanding our physical origins helps us to understand our spiritual place.

Japanese astronomers claim to have found the oldest galaxy yet at 12.91 billion light years distance. Looking at primitive galaxies gives astronomers an important look back into time, when the universe was young. The current discovery comes after observations taken with the Mauna Kea telescope in Hawaii. 

When telescopes like the Hubble peer deeply into space, all that can be seen are more and more galaxies emerging from the dark. Each point of light on this image is a galaxy, itself containing hundreds of billions of stars.

When telescopes like the Hubble peer deeply into space, all that can be seen are more and more galaxies emerging from the dark. Each point of light on this image is a galaxy, itself containing hundreds of billions of stars.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/12/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: universe, oldest galaxy, big bang, theory, cosmology, care, Catholic


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The claim already faces challenges, not because of its distance or age, but because other teams claim they have found yet more distant (and therefore older) examples. However, the Japanese claim is the first one that has been verified and accepted as accurate. The results will soon be published in the Astrophysical Journal

Nearly all astronomers and cosmologists now agree that the universe began around 13.75 billion years ago in a great event called "the Big Bang." The Big Bang represents the moment of creation and the start of time as we know it. All of the observational data gathered since Monsignor Georges Lemaitre (a Catholic priest) proposed the original theory nearly a century ago, supports this theory of physical creation. 

Owing to increasingly powerful telescopes, we are able to see yet fainter objects which are much farther away. In this case, scientists have been able to observe a galaxy that is 12.91 billion light years away. Because light must travel from that galaxy to our eyes on Earth, it takes time and the result is we observe the galaxy as it appeared 12.91 billion years ago.

To understand that light travels, consider that light from the sun is about 8 light minutes old, by comparison. This means that if the sun were to stop shining, it would take us eight minutes to notice. 

Essentially, what astronomers are seeing is one of the first galaxies in the universe. It is quite literally a baby picture of the universe. 

Why we care

Such observations are critical for understanding how the universe formed and if the Big Bang was, in fact, the physical cause. These deeper cosmological questions matter because they give us a sense of understanding and self by helping us to appreciate our origins and place in the universe. 
The physical understanding should healthily compliment our spiritual understanding. 

While we grapple with the mind-boggling distances and expanses of time, astronomers are literally competing to find yet older galaxies. French and American teams using the Hubble Space telescope both have rival claims, but those claims are yet to be verified. 

 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says Watch

Image of IS is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, ... continue reading


Lawsuit dropped against devil worshiper in Oklahoma Watch

Image of Lawyers representing Archbishop Paul Coakley had earlier demanded the return of a communion wafer obtained by the group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The leader of a satanic group in Oklahoma City had threatened that he and his followers would defile a consecrated communion wafer as an offering to Satan as a carnal sacrifice at a "Black Mass" ceremony inside Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. The ... continue reading


Prophetic, Pro-Life Pope Reminds Us Procured Abortion Cut from Same Evil Root as Human Trafficking Watch

Image of On Saturday, August 16, 2014, during the apostolic visit to Korea, Pope Francis made a loud statement. However, he did not use words. He did not have to. His prophetic action brought to mind a saying attributed to his namesake, Francis of Asisi - I preach the Gospel at all times, but sometimes I use words.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When Francis began his service from the chair of Peter, much hoopla filled the media about some alleged softening in the opposition of the Catholic Church to what are dismissively referred to as complicated "moral issues" such as abortion. Sadly, even some in the ... continue reading


Should Americans have job preference over unskilled-illegal immigrants? President Obama doesn't think so Watch

Image of New polls are showing that Americans are tired of illegal immigrants getting benefits at the expense of citizens and legal immigrants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to the Associated Press: "one of the more popular requests among business and family groups is a change in the way green cards are counted," which would "essentially free up some 800,000 additional visas the first year." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Radical Transgender Activism and the Dangers of the Gender Identity Movement Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct when he said, - the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. - Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into ... continue reading


Caught in the act! This brutal video shows a CHP officer beating a woman on the side of the freeway Watch

Image of 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock is suing the California Highway Patrol after she was brutally assaulted by a patrolman on July 1.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A viral video has landed a California Highway Patrol officer in huge trouble after it was posted on YouTube. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The California Highway Patrol has announced that it has suspended officer Daniel Andrew after a video was posted online that ... continue reading


Supreme Court Stays Redefinition of Marriage in Virginia Watch

Image of The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a U.S. Circuit court ruling, redefining the institution of marriage.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to delay the implementation of an appeals court ruling which struck down the expressed will of the voters of the State of Virginia that marriage is capable only between one man and one woman. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER? U.S. policemen cleared at least 400 TIMES annually for justified homicide Watch

Image of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in addition to more than 40 FBI agents will meet in Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of teenager Michael Brown, an unarmed robbery suspect shot six times by a police officer.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Law enforcement agents, be they police or sheriff's deputies, are frequently called upon to defend civilians. In their line of duty, policemen are required to make hair-trigger decisions in order to protect the lives of the innocent. This at times requires ... continue reading


Is the First Amendment dead? Police in Ferguson threaten to kill reporters Watch

Image of The unidentified officer will be found and it is unclear if he will face discipline for threatening to kill journalists.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Overnight, a police officer in Ferguson, MO threatened to kill a member of the press and was recorded doing so. Now a campaign has started online to identify the officer and remove him from the front lines in Ferguson before he really does act out on his threat. ... continue reading


Pope may visit New York City in 2015 Watch

Image of Pope Francis also said there was a possibility he would add Mexico to his travel plans, specifically to visit the Madonna of Guadalupe shrine Mexico City,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Pope Francis has confirmed that he is planning to come to the U.S. next year, a spokesman says that the pontiff may visit New York City. Pope Francis hopes to address Congress and the United Nations, as well as attend a meeting in Philadelphia. A surprise ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 37:1-14
1 The hand of Yahweh was on me; he carried me away by ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 107:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 So let them say whom Yahweh redeemed, whom he ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:34-40
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Andrew the Scot
August 22: Archdeacon and companion of St. Donatus. Andrew and his sister, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter