Scientists have captured a specific type of radio signal from a galaxy almost 9 billion light-years away from the Earth – the first time ever a signal like this has been recieved from such a distance. 

The exciting astronomical first is not a sign of alien life but is actually a frequency emitted from a star-creating galaxy named ‘SDSSJ0826+5630’. The signal comes from a time when when the universe was just 4.9 billion years old compared to the estimated 13.7 billion years old it is now. 

This radio signal has a specific wavelength called the ’21 cm line’. It’s also known as the hydrogen line, and is the electromagnetic radiation spectral line with a frequency of 1420.

As hydrogen is spread out across our universe, it’s a good way to identify the location of galaxies. It means that astronomers are able to look into the secrets of the early universe.

Cosmologist and co-author of a study on the detection, Arnab Chakraborty, told “It’s the equivalent to a look-back in time of 8.8 billion years.”

It’s the first time that a radio signal of this type has been detected at such an enormous distance.

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