This is the most distant star ever seen!April 3, 2018
Astronomers have spotted something very special.
It’s a blue ‘supergiant’ which is nine billion light years away.
That makes it the most distant single star ever discovered.
It’s been named MACS J1149 Lensed Star 1 (LS1) or “Icarus” for short!
Supergiant stars like this one are extremely luminous and blue in colour.
It’s twice as hot as our sun with a surface temperature between a whopping 11,000 and 14,000 degrees Celsius.
Usually scientists can only see galaxies this far away. Galaxies are groups of billions of stars like our own Milky Way.
But beyond about 100 million lightyears it’s impossible to make out individual stars – even with the most powerful telescopes.
(A lightyear is the distance light can travel in a year, and it’s a long, long way – one lightyear is roughly 6 trillion miles!)
With Icarus something rare happened which meant astronomers could see it.
The supergiant was only spotted in images from the Hubble Space Telescope because its light was magnified 2000 times.
The way massive galaxy clusters lined up acted as a magnifying glass, making dim far away objects visible.
Scientists say it’s a really exciting discovery, especially for learning more about how the earliest stars formed and evolved in the Universe.