CR7 is the name of groundbreaking new galaxy

It is the “brightest galaxy in the Universe” and it has been named CR7 by the international team of astronomers who discovered it.

Led by 29-year-old David Sobral of the University of Lisbon, the team’s find was of course inspired by one of the brightest stars in the universe of world football.

But the full designation of CR7 is COSMOS Redshift 7 – and its discovery, for those who understand these things, is momentous.

As Sobral explained it demonstrates for the first time the presence of the first stars of the primordial Universe, the stars born out of the Big Bang cosmic expansion 13,800 million years ago.

The stars created the first elements – oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and iron.

“They are our ancestors”, Sobral added. “If they did not exist, we wouldn’t be here”.

Público’s Culture section takes up the technical details adding that up until this latest research, the existence of this first generation of stars was simply a theory.

Thus Sobral describes his team’s find as “the Holy Grail of astronomy”.

For now, all we know of CR7 is that it is 13,000 million light years away – and would have been created when the Universe was “just” 800 million years old.

A bit like its human inspiration, it is hot and brilliant.

Says Sobral, it is almost 20 times hotter than the sun, and three times more brilliant.

The reason for calling this new galaxy after CR7 is that at the time the team “discovered” it, Ronaldo was about to be presented with his third “Ballon d’Or”.

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Photo: ESO/M. Kornmesser