Technology: Astronomers Peer Back 13 Billion Years and See Two Galaxies Colliding - «Hubble» image with 265,000 galaxies - PressFrom - US

TechnologyAstronomers Peer Back 13 Billion Years and See Two Galaxies Colliding

01:35  19 june  2019
01:35  19 june  2019 Source:

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Interacting galaxies ( colliding galaxies ) are galaxies whose gravitational fields result in a disturbance of one another. Astronomers have estimated the Milky Way Galaxy will collide with the Andromeda Galaxy in about 4.5 billion years .

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has reached back 13 . 2 billion years -- farther than ever before in time and space -- to reveal a "primordial population" of galaxies never seen before. Hubble's discovery indicates galaxies formed millions of years earlier than astronomers previously thought.

Astronomers Peer Back 13 Billion Years and See Two Galaxies Colliding© Illustration: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Artist’s impression of the merging galaxies.

Scientists have spotted one of the most distant (and therefore the youngest) example of merging galaxies yet observed, according to new results.

The team of researchers in Japan observed a distant source of light called B14-65666 using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array of telescopes in Chile. Higher-resolution data from light emitted by oxygen and carbon ions suggested to the researchers that the object might be a single galaxy quickly forming new stars as the result of a collision.

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Thirteen billion years ago, two galaxies collided to make something totally new. And each of those galaxies was among the universe’s first, since the cosmic clock had only been ticking for less than a To the Moon and Back : My Apollo 11 Adventure. Astronomy Backstage Pass: Northern Arizona DVD.

The analysis reached back more than 13 bn years – very near the time of the “Big Bang” thought to have given birth to the universe. When the universe was only a few billion years old, there were 10 times as many galaxies in a given volume of space as there are today, the findings suggest.

Thanks to the fact that light has a top speed, looking farther into the distance reveals information about increasingly earlier times. Scientists therefore hope to retell the history of the universe, how it evolved and ended up looking the way it does today, by observing the most distant objects.

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Scientists were already familiar with B14-65666, an object we see as it was 13 billion years ago. Data from the Hubble Space Telescope revealed that it seemed to have two lobes, separated by about 6,500 to 13,000 light-years—the Milky Way, our home galaxy, has a diameter of more than 100,000 light-years, for comparison. So a team led by Takuya Hashimoto, a postdoctoral researcher at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and Waseda University, took a closer look at the object using ALMA, on nights in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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They date back 10 billion years into the universe's past, a time when galaxy formation reached its peak. Astronomers say they have been able to see galaxies that are primed for producing new stars Then in 2012, astronomers used Hubble to peer even further back to 13 .7 billion years ago

So after 13 .8 billion years , you'd expect to be able to see back almost 13 .8 billion light years , subtracting only how long it took stars and galaxies to form after the You might think it's impossible to tell these two effects apart. If all you can measure is the wavelength of the light as it reaches your eye

Specifically, the researchers observed radiation emitted by specific carbon and oxygen ions as well as radiation from dust. They confirmed that the object was indeed organized into two clumps and estimated the object’s total mass at around 770 million times the mass of the Sun (that’s many times less massive than our own Milky Way). They also predicted that it was forming approximately 200 solar masses’ worth of stars each year.

Astronomers Peer Back 13 Billion Years and See Two Galaxies Colliding© Image: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, Hashimoto et al.

The researchers inferred that the object must be the result of two smaller galaxies merging, experiencing a starburst—a quick period of star formation—as a result.

The galaxy is interesting for more than just how old it is, though. The fact that the researchers were able to detect the signal from dust as well as the specific oxygen and carbon spectral lines means that it could be a promising target for followup research with new telescopes. According to the paper, this is the first such galaxy at this distance with a complete set of measurements of these features. The researchers will attempt to view spectral lines representing other elements as well, to get an idea of the kind of matter making up the very early galaxy.

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Spiral galaxy A1689B11 sits behind a massive cluster of galaxies that acts as a lens, producing two But thanks to the speed limit of light, we’re able to peer backwards in time and see things playing out in the At that age, the galaxy is like a museum piece for astronomers . Finding it, of course, wasn’t

Then, the two galaxies will collide head-on and fly through one another, leaving gassy, starry tendrils in their wakes. “Using nothing more than Newton’s laws of gravitation, we astronomers can confidently predict that several billion years from now, our home galaxy , the Milky Way, will merge

But it’s not the only early example of merging galaxies, and there’s evidence for some even more distant ones as well. “The very early universe seems like a very exciting time to be a galaxy, with lots of violent collision and nothing that looks like the ordered structures we’re used to at later times,” Dan Marrone, associate professor at the University of Arizona, told Gizmodo.

He pointed specifically to oxygen as a useful source of spectral lines for these distant objects, mentioning that there are a lot of measurements of these oxygen ions for this epoch. “There should be many exciting things happening in this space, even before [James Webb Space Telescope].”

Scientists think that mergers are an important part of galaxy formation. Seeing galaxies merge so far away, and sp far back in time, adds some credibility to that theory.

This article has been updated to include comment form Dan Marrone.

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