The 2016 discovery of the most distant star ever seen – so far – has been outlined in a new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
According to the study, the star, formally named 1) but nicknamed Icarus, is located about 9 billion light-years from Earth.
This means light from the star started toward Earth between approximately 4.4 to 4.7 billion years after the Big Bang.
An international group of astronomers says the discovery was made possible with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope by using an optical phenomenon, predicted by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, called gravitational lensing.
Gravitational lensing is caused when a massive object, such as a galaxy cluster, is in front of a more distant and dimmer object.
Gravity from the closer object bends the light of the one farther away, usually providing a magnification of up to 50 times.
The study says the gravitational lensing magnification is this instance was more than 2,000 times.