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Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

Newly discovered fast-growing galaxies could solve cosmic riddle – and show ancient cosmic merger

24 May 2017, 17:00 UTC
Newly discovered fast-growing galaxies could solve cosmic riddle – and show ancient cosmic merger MPIA using material from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

Astronomers have discovered a new kind of galaxy in the early universe, less than a billion years after the Big Bang. These galaxies are forming stars more than a hundred times faster than our own Milky Way. The discovery could explain an earlier finding: a population of surprisingly massive galaxies at a time 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang, which would require such hyper-productive precursors to grow their hundreds of billions of stars. The observations also show what appears to be the earliest image of galaxies merging. The results, by a group of astronomers led by Roberto Decarli of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, have been published in the 25 May issue of the journal Nature.

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