From Max Planck Institute for astronomy: “Newly discovered fast-growing galaxies could solve cosmic riddle – and show ancient cosmic merger”

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Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

May 24, 2017
Science Contact
Decarli, Roberto
Roberto Decarli
Phone: (+49|0) 6221 528-368
decarli@mpia.de

Public Information Officer
Markus Pössel
Public Information Officer
Phone:(+49|0) 6221 528-261
pr@mpia.de

Astronomers have discovered a new kind of galaxy in the early universe, less than a billion years after the Big Bang. These galaxies are forming stars more than a hundred times faster than our own Milky Way. The discovery could explain an earlier finding: a population of suprisingly massive galaxies at a time 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang, which would require such hyper-productive precursors to grow their hundreds of billions of stars. The observations also show what appears to be the earliest image of galaxies merging. The results, by a group of astronomers led by Roberto Decarli of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, have been published in the 25 May issue of the journal Nature.

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Figure 1: Artist’s impression of a quasar and neighboring merging galaxy. The galaxies observed by Decarli and collaborators are so distant that no detailed images are possible at present. This combination of images of nearby counterparts gives an impression of how they might look in more detail.
Image: MPIA using material from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

The results described here have been published as Decarli et al., “Rapidly star-forming galaxies adjacent to quasars at z>6” in the May 25, 2017 edition of the journal Nature.

The MPIA researchers involved are

Roberto Decarli, Fabian Walter, Bram Venemans, Emanuele Farina, Chiara Mazzucchelli, and Hans-Walter Rix

in collaboration with

Eduardo Bañados (Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena), Frank Bertoldi (University of Bonn), Chris Carilli (NRAO and Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge), Xiaohui Fan (University of Arizona), Dominik Riechers (Cornell University), Michael A. Strauss (Princeton University), Ran Wang (Peking University), and Y. Yang (Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute).

See the full article here .

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