I was reading this article this morning:
Scientists have discovered a gamma-ray burst whose light has taken 13.14 billion years to reach Earth. This much is cool and interesting. However, the assumption is then stated that this is "the most distant single object yet spied by a telescope".
But hold on a minute. It is also known that galaxies are moving away from each other at incredible speeds, most faster than the speed of light, because the space/time between them is expanding (or something like that... I'm no scientist!)
So these so-called amazingly distant objects, well for starters, they don't exist any more... They are things that happened billions of years ago. But not only that, they are probably objects that were only a few million light years away from us when they actually took place. So surely then, the objects themselves aren't the most distant ones, but the light from them has been distorted such that the light has taken that long to reach us?
Furthermore, if the galaxies are spreading out faster than the speed of light, who is to say this explosion actually happened 13.1 billion years ago? Isn't it possible that the light was created say 5 billion years ago, but has taken much longer to reach us because of the expanding space between the galaxies?
I'm sure this stuff has already been considered by scientists, but I find it weird the way news articles always assume that just because light travels at a specific speed, that it's always going to take the same amount of time to reach us.
Or am I getting it wrong? I'd love to know!