Astronomers observe formation of 'monster galaxy' hidden behind curtain of dust
Astronomers were able to observe the formation of a monster-sized galaxy with the help of infrared camera on the Hubble Space Telescope along with the near infrared spectrograph at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, which was hidden behind the walls of dust in space.
Behind the humungous galaxy, nicknamed as "Sparky," a curtain of dust was hiding this giant galaxy, CNet reported.
Because light from the distant galaxy takes so long to reach Earth, finding Sparky behind its cloud of gas provides scientists a glimpse back to a much more active time in the universe.
According to the researchers, Sparky was formed about 11 billion years ago, which was the age of the light they could now see from the giant star factory. That's about 3 billion years after the Big Bang. From their observations, far-infrared images from the Spitzer and Herschel space telescopes, the astronomers have estimated that Sparky was spitting out 300 new stars annually as opposed to the Milky Way, which makes about 10 per year.
According to the Yale's report, being able to see so far back in time through observing Sparky has allowed the astronomers to visually confirm a galaxy-formation theory that stated that the "universe's heaviest galaxies develop from the inside out, forming their star-studded, central cores during early cosmic epochs."
The study is published online in the journal Nature (PDF).
(Posted on 04-09-2014)