Posted in News
27/09/2021

Hubble’s latest photos show six “dead” galaxies formed shortly after the big bang

Hubble has taken some surprising pictures over its three-decades-long career. The latest ones are rather groundbreaking, appearing six “useless” galaxies from the early universe. In different phrases, they’ve run out of the chilly hydrogen gasoline wanted for celebrity formation, and the discovery has raised a host of questions.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in northern Chile gazed towards cosmic items formed when the universe was once handiest 3 billion years previous. In astronomical values, that’s rather younger – handiest 20% of our universe’s present age. At this era, as NASA explains, it skilled the maximum prolific duration of celebrity start up to now. So, discovering six huge “useless” galaxies from this era was once bizarre, to mention the least.

Hubble and ALMA discovered those galaxies after they mixed forces with the “herbal lens.” It is created by way of foreground huge galaxy clusters which stretch the gravity and magnify the gentle of the background galaxies in an impact known as gravitational lensing. “This phenomenon permits astronomers to make use of huge galaxy clusters as herbal magnifying glasses to review main points in the far away galaxies that may another way be unimaginable to look,” NASA explains, and it blew my thoughts to be informed this, truthfully.

In the pictures underneath, the yellow lines the glow of starlight, and the synthetic red colour lines chilly mud from ALMA observations. They show two out of six discovered “useless” galaxies.

The findings had been revealed in Nature mag. The paper’s lead writer Kate Whitaker of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the Cosmic Dawn Center in Copenhagen, Denmark defined:

“At this level in our universe, all galaxies will have to be forming a whole lot of stars. It’s the top epoch of celebrity formation. So what took place to all the chilly gasoline in those galaxies so early on?” This continues to be complicated and calls for extra investigation. But Whitaker proposes a number of imaginable explanations:

“Did a supermassive black hollow in the galaxy’s middle activate and warmth up all the gasoline? If so, the gasoline may just nonetheless be there, however now it’s scorching. Or it will were expelled and now it’s being averted from accreting again onto the galaxy. Or did the galaxy simply use all of it up, and the provide is bring to an end? These are a few of the open questions that we’ll proceed to discover with new observations down the highway.”

[via Engadget, image credits: NASA; Image Processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)]

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