What is the furthest thing we can see in our universe?



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    This question can be answered in two ways, and it depends on whether you want to know what is the most distant object that can be seen with the naked eye or with the aid of a telescope.  Most people agree that the most distant object visible to the naked eye is the Andromeda Galaxy (2.25 million light years away), or possibly the Triangulum Spiral (another galaxy about 2.78 million light years away).  However, some people have claimed to be able to see Bode’s Galaxy (a whopping 12 million light years away…they must have very good eyes), and though nobody was around to see it, in 2008 scientists captured satellite photos from an exploding star 7.5 billion light years away that was so bright it could have been seen from Earth.  Too bad we missed it.

    From a satellite, on the other hand, objects can be seen at a much greater distance.  The most recent record for most distant object ever seen was set in April, 2009, when the Hubble Telescope captured images of a gamma ray burst (named GRB 090429B) 13.14 billion light years away.  This distance is only estimated, but is likely quite accurate.  Bearing in mind that the universe is estimated to be about 13.7 billion years old, this image represents a very early event in our universe.

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