(From NBC News)
In a spiral galaxy more than halfway across the universe, astronomers have discovered what they say is the most distant star ever observed.
Galaxies have been observed at greater distances, but at more than 9 billion light-years from Earth, the huge blue star is at least 100 times farther away than any other individual star ever seen.
Dubbed “Icarus,” the newfound star is about a million times more luminous than the sun but is so far away that its glow is too faint to be detected by even the world’s largest telescopes. The star was visible only because astronomers employed a trick of nature known as “gravitational lensing,” in which gravity from galaxies between Earth and the star acted as a sort of magnifying lens that amplified its light rays.