Observing One of the Oldest Objects in the Universe
University of Massachusetts, Amherst | 2017 Nov 06
Astronomers image one of the first massive galaxies to form, 12.8 billion years ago
Astronomers using the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT), which is operated jointly by the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, report today in Nature Astronomy that they have detected the second most distant dusty, star-forming galaxy ever found in the universe – born in the first one billion years after the Big Bang.
It is the oldest object ever detected by the LMT, says astrophysicist Min Yun at UMass Amherst, and at present there is only one other, slightly older and more distant object like this known.
“The Big Bang happened 13.7 billion years ago, and now we are seeing this galaxy from 12.8 billion years ago, so it was forming within the first billion years after the Big Bang,” he points out. “Seeing an object within the first billion years is remarkable because the universe was fully ionized, that is, it was too hot and too uniform to form anything for the first 400 million years. So our best guess is that the first stars and galaxies and black holes all formed within the first half a billion to one billion years. This new object is very close to being one of the first galaxies ever to form.” ...
A dusty star-forming galaxy at z = 6 revealed by strong gravitational lensing - Jorge A. Zavala et al
- Nature Astronomy (online 06 Nov 2017) DOI: 10.1038/s41550-017-0297-8
- arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:1707.09022 > 27 Jul 2017