National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

The First Detection of Abundant Carbon in the Early Universe

| Science

The optical image of TN J0924-220
The optical image of TN J0924-2201, a very distant radio galaxy at z = 5.19, obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. (c) NASA/STScI/NAOJ.

A research team of astronomers, mainly from Ehime University and Kyoto University in Japan, has successfully detected a carbon emission line (CIVĪ»1549) in the most distant radio galaxy known so far in the early universe. Using the Faint Object Camera and Spectrograph (FOCAS) on the Subaru Telescope, the team observed the radio galaxy TN J0924-2201, which is 12.5 billion light years away, and was able to measure its chemical composition for the first time.