Scientists discovered it using the Hubble Space Telescope, and gave it a unique name.
A team of researchers led by Brian Welch, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, announced on Wednesday (March 30) that, looking from Hubble, they had seen the single farthest star ever seen. Ia. And while WHL0137-LS is the technical name of the star, they gave it a better name: Earendel.
Lovers of author JRR Tolkien, best known for thought -provoking novels with the “The Lord of the Rings” series and “The Silmarillion,” may have known this familiar name.
And, as NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller confirmed to Space.com, the name, of course, was inspired by Tolkien’s writing.
This star “is an amazing name Earendel, and it really belongs to Tolkien,” Thaller said.
(Thaller is not part of the science team but has represented four science departments at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland – earth science, earth science, heliophysics and astrophysics – as the center’s assistant director for scientific communication.)
Pili: The best Hubble Space Telescope images of all time!
In Old English, Earendel is a personal name, but can be thought of as “the morning star” or “the dawn.” In The Lord of the Rings, Eärendil is a kind of eleven half that travels to the sea carrying a pearl, a “Silmaril,” called the morning star.
“It’s kind of a morning star, and it’s an Old English word. It’s beautiful. And this is a star, of course, from the dawn of time, the dawn of the stars that work,” Thaller said of the name of the star. “This is the first star, the farthest star we’ve ever seen, and I think Earendel is a nice name for him.”
“We don’t think it’s the first generation of stars,” he said. “We think that’s probably one of the things behind … maybe tens of millions of years after the stars started to form. [in the universe]. “
But even though this longest star is not about 12.9 billion light -years from Earth, it is probably not from the first generation of living stars, it is the longest star in existence, so the name.
Thaller added “the young man who saw the star took the name,” probably referring to Welch. But while Welch’s personal interest in Tolkien came under this name, Thaller joined him and other members of the group as fans of Tolkien’s work.
In fact, in a video conversation with Space.com, Thaller showed the wings he had on each hand – written in the elvish language that Tolkien had created for similar projects. me “The Silmarillion.”