Water in the early Universe

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - 13:21 in Astronomy & Space

A research group led by graduate student Violette Impellizzeri from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy has used the 100 m Effelsberg radio telescope to detect water at the greatest distance from Earth so far. The water vapour was discovered in the quasar MG J0414+0534 at redshift 2.64, which corresponds to a light travel time of 11.1 billion years, a time when the Universe was only a fifth of the age it is today. The water vapour is thought to exist in clouds of dust and gas that feed the supermassive black hole at the centre of the distant quasar...

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