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Gargantuan Galaxies of the Early Universe --"So Massive They Almost Defy Current Understanding"

7 Dec 2017, 15:56 UTC
Gargantuan Galaxies of the Early Universe --"So Massive They Almost Defy Current Understanding"
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A newfound pair of galaxies from the early universe is so massive that it nearly breaks the current understanding of how the cosmos evolved. The larger of the pair is the most gargantuan galaxy ever seen inhabiting the universe during the first billion years following the Big Bang. The galactic heavyweight contains around 273 billion suns' worth of gas and dust, researchers estimate in the December 7 issue of Nature. The smaller galaxy is no lightweight either, comprising roughly 40 billion solar masses of gas and dust.
"Either of these galaxies on its own would be extreme, and here you have two of them together," study co-author Chris Hayward, an associate research scientist at the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute in New York City.

Further, two galactic giants in such proximity suggest the presence of an enveloping halo of dark matter clocking in at more than 1 trillion times the mass of the sun. Such structures began as small variations in the density of the cosmos during the expansion following the Big Bang. Gravity caused the relatively dense regions to attract and accumulate more and more material over time -- eventually accruing larger and larger ...

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