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This giant of 14 galaxies could become the most massive structure in our universe



Looking back billions of light years ago, when the universe was only 10 percent of its present age, astronomers have discovered a colossal accumulation: 14 young, stardust galaxies fused into one of the most massive structures in the universe. [19659002] With some of the most powerful telescopes in operation today, an international research team discovered the extremely dense concentration of hot galaxies coming together.

Finally, the Megamerger will form a cluster of galaxies gravitationally bound to dark matter to merge into a ginous galaxy

This phase of the merger is called a protocluster and is an extraordinary find.

"Capturing a huge galaxy cluster in formation is spectacular in and of itself," said Scott Chapman, an astrophysicist at Dalhousie University, one of the authors of a new article published in Nature .

"But the fact that this happens so early in the history of the universe poses a tremendous challenge to our present understanding of the way structures are formed in the universe."

 Galaxy Fusion alma All 14 galaxies in SPT2349-56, illustrated by ALMA. (1945)

The protocluster SPT2349-56 is 12.4 billion light-years away and is populated by dusty galaxies (ALMA (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO), B. Saxton (NRAO / AUI / NSF )) are stars at breakneck speed – up to 1000 times faster than the Milky Way. But they are crammed together in a space only three times larger than our entire galaxy.

In itself, the protocluster would be a rare find, but there is another twist in the story. It is one of two such recent discoveries

Publishing in arXiv last September, and its results accepted in The Astrophysical Journal a team of researchers announced that they had a protocluster of 10 dusty starburst galaxies in the Universe had found early as well. They called him the dusty red core.

One can expect to discover all kinds of things that form in the early Universe – stars, galaxies, galaxy clusters – but the size and composition of these protoclusters is a mystery.

"The lifetime of dusty starbursts is considered relatively short because they consume their gas at an extraordinary rate," said astrophysicist Iván Oteo of the University of Edinburgh, lead author of the arXiv paper.

"At any time, in any corner of the universe, these galaxies are usually in the minority, so it's very puzzling to find many dusty starbursts that we still need to understand."

After the Big Bang was over everything is still dark during our current models of the universe. Only about 1 billion years later, the universe became completely ionized and transparent, and we see the first galaxies begin to appear.

These clusters appear about 1.4 billion years after the Big Bang. The models of the evolution of the universe predict that while these clusters may exist, they would take much longer to evolve.

"How this collection of galaxies has grown so big is a mystery," said Tim Miller. a graduate student at Yale University, and lead author on the Nature paper

"It has not been built up step-by-step over billions of years, astronomers might expect." This discovery offers a great opportunity to study how massive galaxies

 Galaxy Fusion Telescopes (ESO / ALMA (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO) / Miller et al.

SPT2349 -56 was first seen as a weak patch of the South Pole Telescope in 2010, but it was unusual enough to justify further investigation with something stronger.

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) the telescopes of the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) were then used to image the object in higher resolution and show more detail.

Often, objects are in the early Universe too weak for our telescopes to collect, but there could be more of these protoclusters out there, the researchers said.

"These discoveries of ALMA are just the tip of the iceberg, and additional observations with the APEX telescope show that the real number of star-forming galaxies is likely to be three times as high," said ESO astronomer Carlos De Breuck.

"Ongoing observations with the MUSE instrument at ESO's VLT also identify additional galaxies.

The SPT2349-56 paper was published in the journal Nature and the Dusty Red Core paper may to be read on the form resource ArXiv.

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