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July 12, 2007 / lazybug

Big Bang – Oldest Galaxies Found

Saw this news on TV today morning. It seems scientists have found the oldest known galaxies, some of the earliest stars to take shape after the Big Bang. What this means is that we are looking at initial years of the galaxies. The research has been carried out by group of scientists lead by Prof. Richard Ellis at California Institute of Technology.

What fascinates me about this is that we are seeing pictures of what happened millions of years ago, now. At least that is how I understand it to be.

The discovery:

  • The candidate galaxies are among the first to form in the Universe

  • Their stars would have helped end a period dubbed the ‘Dark Ages’

  • In this cold phase the Universe was filled with neutral gas atoms

  • The stars of the ‘Cosmic Renaissance’ changed their environment

  • These giants’ nuclear cores synthesised the first heavy elements

  • Their intense ultraviolet light also ‘fried’ the neutral gas atoms

  • The resulting plasma – free electrons and protons – is evident today

Here is an image that says it all:

What this also means is that there are several more galaxies to be discovered!


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