You should never believe that astronomers managed to see as far away into the Cosmos as possible through their powerful telescopes. There seems to be no possible limit if we don’t just consider what is known in astronomy as the ‘observable Universe.’
Even light itself can need a lot of time to travel huge distances across the Universe. Although it travels at the highest speed allowed by the laws of physics (300,000 km/s), light generated by a star located at 40 billion light-years away, for instance, would need 40 billion years to reach Earth. There’s no definitive proof that such a star exists, however, and the Universe itself is much younger than 40 billion years.
Astronomers suspect that the entire Universe is much larger than its ‘observable’ part, which raises the stakes a lot higher. As for taking the ‘Multiverse’ into account, there’s no point in even trying to imagine what that means! Finding a star from where the light left it 12.8 billion years ago is much more feasible, and astronomers just proved it.
Let’s set the stage for Earendel!
Earendel (which is scientifically known as WHL0137-LS) is the name of the newfound star or pair of stars by the Hubble telescope that exceeds expectations. NASA itself, meaning one of the space agencies in charge of the good old Hubble, brings the great news of the discovery.
Earendel is now the farthest star ever seen, as its light left it when the Universe was less than a billion years old. That means that the star should be located 12.8 billion light-years away from Earth. We say “should” because there’s a chance that the star might not be there anymore in the present, considering that Hubble sees it the way it was 12.8 billion years ago.
The Universe is surely teeming with stars, meaning that it could be only a matter of time until astronomers can find another star that will break Earendel’s record. If we take only our Milky Way galaxy, for instance, we must keep in mind that it has between 100 billion and 200 billion stars.