The water vapor was found 11.5 billion light years from Earth, using the 100-meter Effelsberg radio telescope at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Leipzig, Germany.
Violette Impellizzeri, formerly of the Max Planck Institute and now with the National Radio Observatory in Virginia, led the investigation of the ancient water disc. She says the existence of water in a galaxy that is close to the 13-billion-year-old age of the Universe is not unexpected, but it is the first time it has been shown.
“This is also a result by itself, that we were able to find a molecule [water] seemed to have produced after a very short time after the Big Bang,” she said. “I mean the Universe is young and already there is already a high abundance of molecules.”
The study on the discovery of ancient water in the Universe is published in the journal Nature.