The galaxy, called EGS-zs8-1, is “one of the brightest and most massive objects in the early universe,” according to a statement from Yale University.
Calculating its exact distance from Earth was possible using the MOSFIRE instrument on the W.M. Keck Observatory’s 10-meter telescope in Hawaii, researchers said.
The galaxy was first spotted in images from NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.
Astronomers at Yale and the University of California, Santa Cruz say that EGS-zs8-1 is still forming stars rapidly, about 80 times faster than our galaxy, the Milky Way.
Details of the discovery were published Tuesday in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.