Our Universe came into existence almost 14 billion years ago, and now astronomers have pinpointed some 4,000 galaxies that were among the first to arrive on the scene. They were able to pinpoint their existence thanks to a new large-scale map of the universe – one of the most complex ever put together.
Astronomers Use Cosmic ‘Slicing’ Technique To Create New Map Of Early Universe
The map was presented at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science event which was held in Liverpool, England. Technical details about early galaxies were also outlined in two papers both released in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
It’s likely the young galaxies formed in a time frame of 11 billion to 13 billion years ago. Namely, they appeared about a billion years after the Big Bang expanded from a point of absolute singularity. A billion years is just the blink of an eye in astronomical terms. It is apparently still plenty of time, however, for thousands of new star-strewn galaxies to form.
The light we see today from these early galaxies is essentially a time-machine window into the unimaginably distant past. It’s possible that none of the galaxies shown in the 3D large-scale map still exist today. The stars that compose the body of these galaxies likely burned out or went nova eons ago.
Astronomers can determine the age of deep space objects by measuring the “red shift” in their light spectrum. The farther light travels, the more it gets stretched out causing a shift toward the red end of the spectrum.
Studying these thousands of early galaxies can yield vital clues about how galaxies formed. Specialists believe they have found a significant difference in the youthful galaxies. They appear to have formed stars in “bursts” rather than steady formation steps.
The innovative new map of the Universe employed telescopes with calibrated filters that essentially “sliced” gathered imagery into 16 parts. It also did it in such a way that different time periods were highlighted. This was chosen over the idea of gathering a single “present-moment” snapshot of the distant regions of space.
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