Astronomers Discover Two Massive Galaxies From the Early Universe

 Antarctica’s South Pole Telescope pic

Antarctica’s South Pole Telescope
Image: nature.com

Valerie Varnuska, a resident of Westbury, NY, divides her free time between being outdoors and learning about different subjects. Over the years, Valerie Varnuska has developed a strong interest in vintage trains, geology, and astronomy.

In December 2017, a study was published detailing astronomers’ discovery of two huge galaxies that were formed during the universe’s early history. The galaxies were spotted using Antarctica’s South Pole Telescope and their discovery was published in Nature, an international science journal.

The galaxies discovered existed within 800 million years of the Big Bang. Finding these galaxies was a challenge for astronomers because a different galaxy was situated in front of them, which altered the light coming from the duo and prevented them from seeing the galaxies in high resolution. As a result, further observations were made with Chile’s Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA).

Additionally, astronomers noticed that the two galaxies were forming 2,900 solar masses each year, a rapid pace for a galaxy to form stars, and they concluded that the two galaxies must be merging. Astronomers also spotted a large, dark matter halo around the galaxies, suggesting that dark matter played a role in the construction of these massive galaxies.

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