The earliest aeons of the universe were tumultuous and violent.
Newly-discovered data show that only 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang, this cosmic experiment set in motion – a group of 14 galaxies in the midst of star formation merged and interacted.
The galaxies found in the new data collected by the telescopes of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) ALMA and APEX are known as starburst galaxies.
These types of galaxies make thousands of stars each year, unlike a more typical galaxy like ours, which only produces a few annually.
"The lifetime of dusty starbursts is considered to be relatively short as they consume their gas at an extraordinary rate, and at any time, in every corner of the universe, these galaxies are usually in the minority," said Iván Oteo, a team member behind the discovery, in a statement.
"How to find many dusty starbursts at the same time This is very puzzling and something we still need to understand."
At first, the researchers thought that the galactic crash took place 3 billion years after the big bang, but the new ones Observations show that the universe was only 1
Scientists believe that this galactic destruction was probably a precursor to the formation of galaxy clusters, the largest known structures in the universe.
However, the researchers do not yet know exactly how this grouping of galaxies originated.
"It's a mystery how this cluster of galaxies grew so fast, it was not built over billions of years, as astronomers would expect," team member Tim Miller said in the statement.
"This discovery provides a great opportunity to explore how huge galaxies came together to build huge clusters of galaxies."
Scientists will likely try to learn as much as possible about these distant galaxies in order to determine how they formed the early universe.