Astronomers find most distant galaxy ever measured

This image released by the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii shows the farthest confirmed galaxy observed to date. The inset image of the galaxy is blue, suggesting very young stars. -- PHOTO: AFP 
This image released by the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii shows the farthest confirmed galaxy observed to date. The inset image of the galaxy is blue, suggesting very young stars. -- PHOTO: AFP 

MIAMI (AFP) - Astronomers have located the most distant galaxy ever measured in the universe, and it looks like a bright blue mass of stars some 13.1 billion light-years from Earth.

The galaxy, called EGS-zs8-1, is "one of the brightest and most massive objects in the early universe", according to a statement from Yale University.

Calculating its exact distance from Earth was possible using the MOSFIRE instrument on the WM Keck Observatory's 10-meter telescope in Hawaii, researchers said.

The galaxy was first spotted in images from NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.

Astronomers at Yale and the University of California, Santa Cruz say that EGS-zs8-1 is still forming stars rapidly, about 80 times faster than our galaxy, the Milky Way.

Details of the discovery were published Tuesday in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.