Astronomers Have Explored Many Wonders At An Old Looking Galaxy
A team of astronomers have found fraction of dust on one of the ancient and far-off galaxies. This dust is considered indispensable for the possibility of life. The huge significance of this discovery comes from the fact that this is the dust which helps formation of fundamentals for habitability: planets, complex molecules and stars.
According to EurekAlert, the team led by Darach Watson was surprised to see the evolution of the system beyond their expectations. The galaxy was anticipated as a newly formed system by the astronomers before they were to be taken aback by the signs of high maturity of the galaxy i.e, chemical complexity and abundance of interstellar dust.
“After confirming the galaxy’s distance using the VLT,” said Darach Watson, “we realised it had previously been observed with ALMA. We didn’t expect to find much, but I can tell you we were all quite excited when we realised that not only had ALMA observed it, but that there was a clear detection. One of the main goals of the ALMA Observatory was to find galaxies in the early Universe from their cold gas and dust emissions — and here we had it!”
They found that the fraction of dust found was very similar in nature to the dust of Milky Way which is exceptionally mature galaxy.
The galaxy is named as A1689-zD1. The astronomers had to use very advanced equipment in order to observe this remote galaxy. The scientists “used the Very Large Telescope’s X-shooter instrument along with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array,” observes the source. And this was not over yet: they were to amplify the brightness of the galaxy by more than nine times, which they did with the help of gravitational lens.
A1689-zD1 has shown many other signs of maturity as a galaxy. For example, the massive radiation in the far infrared suggests that the galaxy had already given birth to many stars and metals. Additionally, it was discovered that the galaxy had not only the dust but, like other developed galaxies, dust-to-gass ratio.
“Although the exact origin of galactic dust remains obscure,” explains Watson, “our findings indicate that its production occurs very rapidly, within only 500 million years of the beginning of star formation in the Universe — a very short cosmological time frame, given that most stars live for billions of years.”
Kristen Knudsen who is the co-author of the paper further added: “This amazingly dusty galaxy seems to have been in a rush to make its first generations of stars. In the future, ALMA will be able to help us to find more galaxies like this, and learn just what makes them so keen to grow up.”