Science 2 min read

Earliest Galaxies in the Universe Identified by Astronomers

Researchers have managed to discover some of the earliest galaxies formed in our Universe. At over 13 billion years old, these galaxies could hold many clues as to how our Universe was formed.

Durham University

Durham University

Researchers have discovered some of the earliest galaxies from the cosmic dark ages of our universe.

According to astronomers from the Durham and Harvard universities, the earliest galaxies they found surrounding our Milky Way galaxy were over 13 billion years old. These clusters of stars that appear as faint objects from a distance were reportedly formed about a hundred million years after the Big Bang.

The said galaxies contain some of the primordial stars that lit the universe billions of years ago.

“Finding some of the very first galaxies that formed in our universe orbiting in the Milky Way’s own backyard is the astronomical equivalent of finding the remains of the first humans that inhabited the Earth,” Professor Carlos Frenk, Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology Director, said.

“It is hugely exciting.” ~ Prof. Carlos Frenk

In the study published by Professor Frenk and his team in the Astrophysical Journal, they described how two of the satellite galaxy populations from their discovery could shed some light into the origins of the universe.

According to their study, the first hydrogen atoms were first created when the universe was about 380,000 years old. The atoms then gathered into clouds, gradually cooling and settling into small clumps of dark matter.

The astronomers referred to this cooling period as the cosmic dark ages which lasted for around 100 million years. With the passing of time, stars were born from the gas that cooled within the clouds, eventually forming the oldest galaxies in the history of our universe.

The data collected by the researchers from the faintly visible galaxies reportedly matches with a model galaxy formation they created. Because of this, Frenk and his colleagues were able to estimate the formation times of the star clusters.

“A nice aspect of this work is that it highlights the complementarity between the predictions of a theoretical model and real data,” Dr. Sownak Bose, lead author of the study from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, said.

“A decade ago, the faintest galaxies in the vicinity of the Milky Way would have gone under the radar. With the increasing sensitivity of present and future galaxy censuses, a whole new trove of the tiniest galaxies has come into the light, allowing us to test theoretical models in new regimes.”

Do you think the use of computer models to discover these galaxies will soon become a more prevalent method of research in astronomy?

Found this article interesting?

Let Rechelle Ann Fuertes know how much you appreciate this article by clicking the heart icon and by sharing this article on social media.


Profile Image

Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

Comments (0)
Most Recent most recent
You
share Scroll to top

Link Copied Successfully

Sign in

Sign in to access your personalized homepage, follow authors and topics you love, and clap for stories that matter to you.

Sign in with Google Sign in with Facebook

By using our site you agree to our privacy policy.