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Meet Earendel: Hubble telescope’s most distant star discovery gets a Tolkien-inspired name

Space.com } Chelsea Gohd

Scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope just made a remarkable discovery, and they gave it quite a unique name. 

A team of researchers led by Brian Welch, an astrophysicist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, announced Wednesday (March 30) that, with observations from Hubble, they have discovered the most distant single star ever before seen. And, while the star’s technical designation is WHL0137-LS, they gave it a much catchier name: Earendel. 

Fans of the author J.R.R. Tolkien, famous for fantasy novels including The Lord of the Rings” series and The Silmarillion,” might already find this name familiar. 

And, as NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller confirmed to Space​.com, the name is, in fact, inspired by Tolkien’s fantasy writing.…

The most distant star yet seen, called Earendel, is indicated by an arrow in the inset of this image from the Hubble Space Telescope that captured the star from 12.9 billion light-years away using a gravitational lens.…

In Old English, Earendel is a personal name, but it also can mean the morning star” or the dawn.” In the Lord of the Rings, Eärendil is a half-elven character who travels the seas carrying a jewel, a Silmaril,” called the morning star.…

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source URL 🌐Space.com: NASA, Space Exploration and Astronomy News
date recorded 📅2022-04-06
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