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Star formation underway 250 million years after Big Bang

17 May 2018, 11:36 UTC
Star formation underway 250 million years after Big Bang
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In this composite image, a galaxy cluster observed by the Hubble Space Telescope is shown along with a faint member (inset) known as MACS1149-JD1 that was observed by the ALMA instrument. Oxygen distribution is shown in red. The galaxy is believed to contain stars that were shining just 250 million years after the Big Bang. Image: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, W. Zheng (JHU), M. Postman (STScI), the CLASH Team, Hashimoto et al
Astronomers have observed a galaxy 13.3 billion light years away that includes stars that must have been shining just 250 million years after the Big Bang.
“This galaxy is seen at a time when the Universe was only 500 million years old and yet it already has a population of mature stars,” said Nicolas Laporte, a researcher at University College London and co-author of a paper describing the observations. “We are therefore able to use this galaxy to probe into an earlier, completely uncharted period of cosmic history.”
Using the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, the team found extremely red shifted traces of ionised oxygen emitted from a remote galaxy known as MACS1149-JD1 some 13.3 billion years ago. ...

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