Rare Cosmic Alignment Reveals The Most Distant Star Ever Seen

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Rare Cosmic Alignment Reveals The Most Distant Star Ever Seen
Photo by Hubble Space Telescope / ESA

While observing a rare cosmic alignment, scientists managed to observe a star located about nine billion light-years away via the Hubble Space Telescope. This star is known as Icarus, which is a blue supergiant. Scientists estimate it to be the most distant ordinary star from our planet ever seen so far.

According to a report by Berkeley News, researchers from the University of California discovered Icarus using gravitational lensing. The rare cosmic alignment allowed them to observe it, magnifying Icarus 2,000 times. Researchers published their findings in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The discovery was noted when Patrick Kelly, a faculty member of the University of Minnesota, who previously was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, observed a supernova SN Refsdal via Hubble Space Telescope. It wasn’t much later that he discovered the blue supergiant Icarus.

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Scientifically, the blue supergiant is known as MACS J1149 Lensed Star 1, although it was easier to nickname it Icarus.

Kelly and his colleagues were studying the Hubble images of a massive galaxy cluster about five billion light-years away from Earth. A phenomenon known as gravitational lensing – light being bent by a galaxy cluster between a distant object and the ob