Astronomers have found a massive galaxy, dating back to the early universe, lurking in cosmic dust clouds – an advance that may open the doors for discovering a new galaxy population type.
The researchers, including those from the University of Massachusetts in the U.S., said the discovery provides new insights into the first steps of some of the biggest galaxies in the Universe.
Researchers figured out that the galaxy is actually a massive monster galaxy, with as many stars as our Milky Way, but brimming with activity and forming new stars at 100 times the rate of our own galaxy.”
As part of the study, published in the Astrophysical Journal, the researchers used the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or ALMA – a collection of 66 radio telescopes located in the high mountains of Chile.
According to the researchers, the signal came from so far away that it took nearly 12.5 billion years to reach the Earth, when the Universe was still in its infancy. The astronomers believe the discovery may solve a long-standing puzzle about how some of the biggest galaxies grew.