Most distant galaxy identified [via The Daily Telegraph]
Writing in Nature yesterday a group of European scientists announced the discovery of the galaxy most distant from our own — UDFy-38135539, 13.1 billion lightyears away. Light from the galaxy, therefore, has taken most of the universe’s life to reach us; the Big Bang happened approximately 13.7 billion years ago. ”These observations are at the limit of what can be achieved with the best current technology on the best telescopes available today,” said University of Bristol professor Malcolm Bremer. “In the near term, improvements to that technology and the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (successor to the Hubble Space Telescope) will improve our ability to carry out studies like this.”
Britain’s ‘earliest hospital’ discovered [via The Guardian]
British archaeologists have uncovered what may be Britain’s first hospital, a site in Winchester carbon dating to between 960 and 1030 — before the Norman invasion of 1066. “This is an important archaeological development,” said Dr Simon Roffey from the University of Winchester, which conducted the dig. “Historically, it has always been assumed that hospitals were a post-conquest phenomenon, the majority founded from the late 11th century onwards. However, our excavations have revealed a range of buildings and, more significantly, convincing evidence for a foundation in the 10th century.” Winchester, near the southern coast of the county of Hampshire, was the capital of England at the time.
End of the Earth Postponed [via LiveScience]
A new textbook argues that “the accepted conversions of dates from Mayan to the modern calendar may be off by as much as 50 or 100 years,” throwing doubt on the widely popularized claim that the world will end in 2012 because the ancient Mayan stops then. The error occurred in early calculations from Mayan to Gregorian dates. The author, however, does not offer any solution to a proper conversion.