View Full Version : Lensed galaxy really old

2011-Apr-13, 01:02 AM
Hubblesite NewsCenter (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/12/) reports:

"Astronomers have uncovered one of the youngest galaxies in the distant universe, with stars that formed 13.5 billion years ago, a mere 200 million years after the Big Bang.

Detailed observations from the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii revealed the observed light dates to when the universe was only 950 million years old...

Infrared data from both Hubble and the post-coolant, or "warm," phase of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope mission revealed the galaxy's stars are quite mature, which means they must have formed when the universe was much younger [750 million years younger, apparently].

The galaxy's image is being lensed by the massive cluster Abell 383, making it 11 times brighter. (How does that affect your redshift calculations?) It's still awfully small, but the release image is apparently in visible light. I can't tell if the little wisps and blobs nearby the circled young galaxy are part of it or just foreground flotsam.....

Here is the Spitzer site (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/spitzer/news/spitzer20110412.html) with the same release.

2011-Apr-13, 01:19 AM
The large bottom right sliver looks to have a blue star forming region. The smaller bottom left sliver also may have one.

Neat article for who haven't seen it:
Galaxies like necklace beads. Astronomers find that galaxies are not oriented randomly in space. (http://www.astronomy.com/en/sitecore/content/Home/News-Observing/News/2006/05/Galaxies%20like%20necklace%20beads.aspx)

2011-Apr-13, 04:57 AM
Nice find Cougar. Nature's very own magnifying glass...on a cosmic scale none the less.

2011-Apr-13, 06:52 AM
I was just going to post this story when I found it a little awhile ago at the main NASA site. Wow and wow. 13.5 billion years. Finally, what they had been hoping for--a galaxy in formation under 300 million years after BB. Incredible. 200 million years after BB--and there it is.

The tech data on this find will be most compelling in the weeks ahead.

Thank you for getting that for us quickly.

Here is the annotated image up close:



2011-Apr-13, 08:23 AM
Whew, thanks for linking that. Now I can be less foolishly impressed. I zoomed in to the limit on each spot on the .tiff, and if I had to bet 3 cents, I'd say the structure in question was aligned at about theta = 100' and has resolvable angular width. I find it amazing and tragic that coherent angular momentum in pristine disks is shredded irrecoverably in the creation of ellipticals, and that the core of disks has elliptical behavior in microcosm.

2011-Apr-14, 06:05 PM
This discovery was reported more than a month ago:

Distant Galaxy Helped Relight the Universe

by Ken Croswell

March 8, 2011

The discovery of a small but distant galaxy 12.8 billion light years from Earth is providing important clues about the earliest years of the universe's life. By measuring the age of the galaxy's stars, astronomers in Europe and the US say the galaxy began to shine when the universe was just 150300 million years old. The work suggests that such galaxies were responsible for dispersing the atomic fog that once cloaked the cosmos, during a period in the history of the universe that astronomers know very little about.

Much more at http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/45338 .