Astronomers have spotted numerous extremely distant galaxies, but spotting individual stars is understandably much more difficult unless they go supernova. Sometimes, though, cosmic alignment works in their favor. Researchers using Hubble space telescope data have spotted Icarus (aka MACS J1149+2223 Lensed Star 1), a blue supergiant whose light was emitted when it was 9 billion light years away from Earth -- over 100 times farther than the previous record-setter. They captured the star thanks to a rare, ideal gravitational lensing effect where the star's light was magnified not only by the gravity of an in-between galaxy cluster 5 billion light years from Earth, but by a star inside that cluster. All told, the lensing magnified Icarus 2,000 times.