Astronomers discover 14 galaxies poised to collide and form colossal cluster

Astronomers discover 14 galaxies poised to collide and form colossal cluster

Their observations reveal at least 14 galaxies packed into an area only four times the diameter of the Milky Way's galactic disk.

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), an global team of astronomers has uncovered a startlingly dense concentration of 14 galaxies that are poised to merge, forging a galaxy cluster in the early universe.

This image shows how astrophysicists zoomed in on the galaxy merger.

"This is the missing link in our understanding of how clusters form", states study co-author Chris Hayward, research scientist at the Flatiron Institute in New York City. Clusters grow over time as gravity draws in more material.

Galaxy clusters are the largest objects in our universe.

During the first few million years of cosmic history, normal matter and dark matter began to clump together, eventually giving rise to galaxy clusters. "It is way denser than anyone expected", Tim Miller, lead-author of the study and an astronomy researcher at Yale University, told The Register. That undertaking inspected around 6 percent of the sky, but with relatively coarse resolution.

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an global team of scientists has uncovered a startlingly dense concentration of 14 galaxies that are poised to merge, forming the core of what will eventually become a colossal galaxy cluster.

"It just hit you in the face because all of a sudden there are all these galaxies there", Chapman says.

In total, the mass of the galaxies in this cluster is approximately 10 trillion times larger than the sun in the Milky Way.

With these galaxies packing together so closely, the scientific teams realized that they were getting ready to violently collide and merge with each other, which would eventually produce very big galaxy clusters.

Galaxy clusters can have thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity that can boast total masses a quadrillion larger than our sun, with enormous amounts of the enigmatic material called dark matter, big black holes and super-heated gas.

The 14 galaxies seen heading towards each other are known as starburst galaxies due to the vigorous star formation. "Additional observations with the APEX telescope show that the real number of star-forming galaxies is likely even three times higher", states ESO astronomer Carlos De Breuck. One possible explanation is that the gravitational tug of neighboring galaxies compresses gas within a galaxy, triggering star formation.

His team used ALMA to peer back some 12.42 billion years in time, or when the universe was only 1.4 billion years old, to watch the early stages of a massive cosmic pileup. Modern clusters, for instance, brim with superheated gas that can reach temperatures of more than 1 million degrees.

Discovered during a follow-up analysis of the South Pole Telescope survey conducted in Antarctica, this extraordinary galaxy cluster is detailed in a study published yesterday in the journal Nature.

Often objects that early in the Universe are too faint for our telescopes to pick up, but there may be more of these protoclusters out there, the researchers said. "As we flush out the details of those, we'll see just how similar they are to this structure".

Related Articles

  • 'Cry Closet' Installed For Students Who Need Some Alone Time

    'Cry Closet' Installed For Students Who Need Some Alone Time

    It would come as no surprise if real cry closets started popping up at universities and even in corporate offices everywhere. There is a sign hanging on the door of the structure that describes it as "a safe place for stressed out students".
    Tinsley Mortimer thinks Sonja Morgan wants to take her down

    Tinsley Mortimer thinks Sonja Morgan wants to take her down

    That "kiss of dying" was a textual content message she despatched Singer, reaming her out for being a nasty buddy. Upon moving into co-star Sonja Morgan's townhouse past year , Mortimer believed she'd bounce back in a NY minute.
    Patton Oswalt Stunned: Credits Late Wife in Golden State Killer Case

    Patton Oswalt Stunned: Credits Late Wife in Golden State Killer Case

    DeAngelo is reportedly being held at the Sacramento County Main jail and is not ineligible for bail, the Sacremento Bee reports. Fans and friends took to Twitter today to send her their thanks, love, and wishes that she was here to see the arrest .
  • EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Testifies Before House Committee Amid Controversies

    EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Testifies Before House Committee Amid Controversies

    Favored employees got raises - even after the White House said no. "And we'll keep you posted". And Republicans have bluntly told Pruitt to expect a bipartisan grilling.
    Alexis Sanchez: 'Life at Manchester United is very different'

    Alexis Sanchez: 'Life at Manchester United is very different'

    Manchester United's Scott McTominay has revealed the advice Jose Mourinho passed onto him in a bid to help him settle into the first team.
    Liverpool, Arsenal target Meyer 'definitely' leaving Schalke

    Liverpool, Arsenal target Meyer 'definitely' leaving Schalke

    Despite his youth, Meyer has made 192 appearances for Schalke across all competitions, scoring 22 goals and providing 24 assists. BC-SOC-Schalke-Meyer, 121Schalke midfielder Meyer latest player to leave for freeAP Photo XBER106Eds: APNewsNow.
  • Piper Jaffray Reaffirms Buy Rating for Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ:FANG)

    After $1.12 actual EPS reported by IDEX Corporation for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts 10.71% EPS growth. Brenham Capital Management Lp sold 250,000 shares as the company's stock rose 3.87% while stock markets declined.
    Senate Draws Line in Sand to Protect Mueller Russia Investigation

    Senate Draws Line in Sand to Protect Mueller Russia Investigation

    However, Grassley said Thursday he believes "this bill should be considered by the full Senate" despite McConnell's objections. Trump reportedly considered firing Mueller at least twice previous year . "Everybody went to work and worked it out".
    Hector Bellerin rubbishes Alexandre Lacazette bust-up reports

    Hector Bellerin rubbishes Alexandre Lacazette bust-up reports

    And Arsenal fans can now be relieved in the knowledge that there really was nothing to Bellerin and Lacazette's coming together. If you read the article and looked at the photos, you could be forgiven for thinking that there was genuinely something in it.
  • Kasich signs executive order to improve state's gun background check system

    Kasich signs executive order to improve state's gun background check system

    The Ohio police union, the state police chiefs association, and the state clerks of court association support Kasich's proposal. Kasich also wants the state auditor to include reporting to that database as part of regular audits of local governments.

    Pier 1 Imports (PIR) Lowered to Underperform at Raymond James

    The last price is also the price on which most charts are based; the chart updates with each change of the last price. Picking the next victor to bolster the portfolio may involve some hard work and a little bit of stock market magic.
    New York Community Bank (NYCB) Short Interest Update

    New York Community Bank (NYCB) Short Interest Update

    ValuEngine lowered New York Community Bank from a "buy" rating to a "hold" rating in a research note on Saturday, February 3rd. Bridgecreek Invest Management holds 0.06% of its portfolio in New York Community Bancorp, Inc . (NYSE: NYCB ) for 2,581 shs.