The record for the most distant object in the Universe ever seen has been smashed: a galaxy has been found at the staggering distance of 13.1 billion light years!
Here’s the Hubble image of this incredibly far-flung object:
Yeah, I know. Doesn’t look like much, does it? But oh, what it means…
That’s a galaxy, probably smaller and more compact than our Milky Way, but a galaxy. It’s so dim that the faintest star you can see with your unaided eye is 4 billion times brighter. Its distance is simply numbing; the Universe itself is only 13.7 billion years old, so the light from this object began its journey on its way to Earth just 600 million years after the Universe itself formed.
Remember the line from the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy about space being "really big"?