Astronomers have been working on a massive 3D map of what they call the infant universe. The map was made in Europe by a team around Dr. Ing. David Sobral of Lancaster University unveiled. The huge map was created using the Subaru telescope in Hawaii and the Issac Newton telescope in the Canary Islands.
The map is a literal retrospective of 16 different epochs between 11 and 13 billion years ago. The researchers discovered in their study nearly 4,000 early galaxies that are believed to have evolved into galaxies like our own Milky Way galaxy. If you're wondering how a map of the modern sky could be a glimpse into the past, think about it.
It takes billions of years for the light of the most distant galaxies to reach Earth, where scientists can study and study it. By the time we see the light of these galaxies, they are very different from what we are seeing in that old light we are watching. Scientists say that the light of these galaxies is also stretched by the expansion of the universe, making the light redder. This is called redshift and helps to determine the distance that the galaxy that created the light is.
The team has used special filters to capture specific wavelengths of light and indicate the epochs in the history of the universe from which the galaxies originated. The team used a lot of data from 16 special filters on wide field cameras and processed this data. One thing the team discovered is that the early galaxies apparently had more bursts than they made stars, rather than forming stars at constant speed like our galaxy.
The galaxies the team discovered existed as the universe existed only 20 to 7% of its current age. This gives important information about the early stages of galaxy formation. The scientists also find that the galaxies are very compact at only about 3,000 light-years. The Milky Way is about 30 times bigger.