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Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Galaxy opens a window into the early universe


A team of astronomers from the "Johns Hopkins University (Johns Hopkins University) stated that this galaxy may well be the most distant ever discovered, according to known as MACS 1149-JD, it gives an idea of the most distant epoch in cosmic history, as the light coming from the faint galaxies shine on, when the universe was only 500 million years - or 3.6% of its current age.


Astronomers from the "Johns Hopkins" believe that distant galaxy MACS 1149-JD was found at the time when she was about 200 million years. It is considered among the main galaxies, which have played an important role in the reionization - an event that marked the end of the universe, the so-called "dark ages."

"In fact, the light in the universe appeared in the era of reionization," - explains co-author Leonidas Moustakas, a researcher NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, division "California Institute of Technology (California Institute of Technology) in Pasadena, California.

This observation has been made by telescope "Spitzer (Spitzer) and "Hubble (Hubble), which recorded a cosmic phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.

As predicted by the general theory of relativity, Albert Einstein's gravitational lensing allows astronomers to see more distant objects than would have been possible until recently, by the attraction of objects are in the foreground, which distort and enhance the light from the secondary sites. In this case, a massive cluster of galaxies located between our galaxy and the early increases the light of the latter; making the remote object is 15 times brighter.

"This galaxy is the most distant object, for which we have ever seen," - said Wei Zheng, Chief Scientific Officer The Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics, Johns Hopkins' Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and lead author of an article that appeared on September 20 of 2012 in the journal Nature. "Future work related to this galaxy, as well as others like it, we hope to find - will allow us to study the early universe objects, and how over the Middle Ages."

A distant galaxy is small and compact, contains only about one percent of the mass of the Milky Way, and this is consistent with the main cosmological theory, which states that in the period of creation of the universe, the first galaxies were indeed very small in front of the progressive accumulation of the merger and, later gaining a significant size.

Astronomers plan to continue the study of the growth of the first stars and galaxies, the epoch of reionization, with the help of telescopes, "Spitzer" and "Hubble" - "NASA". Space telescope, the James Webb (James Webb Space Telescope, JWST) scheduled for launch in 2018, the year of.

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