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ALMA sees most distant Milky Way look-alike

12 Aug 2020, 15:00 UTC
ALMA sees most distant Milky Way look-alike

With the Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is involved, astronomers have discovered an extremely distant and therefore very young galaxy that looks surprisingly similar to our Milky Way. The galaxy is so far away that it took its light more than 12 billion years to reach us: we see it as it was when the universe was just 1.4 billion years old. It is also surprisingly less chaotic and contradicts the theories that all galaxies in the early universe were turbulent and unstable. This unexpected discovery challenges our understanding of how galaxies are formed and gives us new insights into the past of our universe.

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