Cluster of distant young galaxies lies at dark matter nexus offering astronomers a unique chance to pierce through the veil of the universe in the formation of elliptical galaxies.
These young galaxies, 10 million light years from us are monstrous clusters of stars that have discovered thanks to the operational capabilities of the European Southern Observatory’s Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).
The Japanese team of astronomers who brought the monstrous young galaxies to the light stated that this is the first time such an impressive cluster is found. The finding presented in the Astrophysical Journal Letter bears crucial importance for the understanding of the evolution of these young galaxies in the early universe into gigantic elliptical galaxies as we know them today.
The universe is a rather quiet place now. Yet, in the early phases of formation, following the Big Bang, young monstrous galaxies such as the ones just uncovered would form stars at thousands of times the rate witnessed now in our own Milky Way.
Observations indicated that such monstrous galaxies as the cluster of young galaxies recently discovered haven’t simply disappeared. Instead, they would have evolved in elliptical galaxies such as the Milky Way.
To fully understand how these form, astronomers needed to peer back into the early phases of the universe formation. A hypothesis that couldn’t be confirmed until now poses that monstrous young galaxies with a huge star formation rate are usually located at where dark matter is mostly concentrated.
However, the clouds of dust obscuring the monstrous young galaxies have made it impossible until now to really confirm the hypothesis. As such, thank to ALMA, astronomers have discovered the needed confirmation: a cluster of distant young galaxies lies at the dark matter nexus.
The monstrous young galaxies have been picked up in a sky region titled SSA22, where the Aquarius constellation is found. Prior to directing ALMA to this spot, SSA22 was observed with ASTE as astronomers looked for young galaxies. The ASTE is a submillimeter telescope which has offered some clues. However, with lower resolution and sensitivity than ALMA, it hasn’t showed the monstrous young galaxies.
ALMA has ten times higher sensitivity and a resolution 60 times higher than that of ASTE. As such, the cluster of nine young galaxies was revealed, just at the nexus of dark matter hypothesized by the astronomers team.
Photo Credits: Gizmag. Credit: ESO, NAOJ, NRAO