Passipoularidou’s Weblog

Ιανουαρίου 6, 2013

A 3D projection of almost 300 galaxies in the census in the same part of the sky.

Filed under: Uncategorized — passipoularidou @ 1:53 μμ
 
December 5, 2012 
 
 
A 3D projection of almost 300 galaxies in the census in the same part of the sky. The third dimension shows how many billions of years back in time we are seeing each galaxy, determined by observations from the Keck Observatory. At top are images from the Hubble Space Telescope of five galaxies in the census. Credit: ESA-C. Carreau (Phys.org)
—A group of astronomers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the U.S. Mainland, Canada, and Europe recently used the twin telescopes of the W. M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, to conduct a census of the brightest, but until now unseen, galaxies in the distant Universe, bringing astronomers one step closer to understanding how galaxies form and evolve. These galaxies glow so brightly at infrared wavelengths that they would outshine our own Milky Way by hundreds, maybe thousands, of times. They are forming stars so quickly that between 100 and 500 new stars are born in each galaxy every year, and have been coined «starbursts» by astronomers. While it’s not clear what gives these galaxies their intense luminosity, it could be the result of a collision between two spiral-type galaxies, similar to the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies. Or they could be in a particularly gas-rich region of space, where galaxies form stars quickly due to constant bombardment from gas and dust. Despite their brightness, these galaxies are nearly invisible at the wavelengths our eyes and most telescopes on Earth can see because they contain huge amounts of dust, which absorbs visible starlight. But they were detectable directly in the infrared from observations at the Herschel Space Observatory, said Dr. Caitlin Casey, a Hubble fellow at the UH Manoa Institute for Astronomy and the lead scientist behind the new results. «Herschel is an infrared space telescope sensitive to wavelengths not observable from within Earth’s atmosphere,» she said.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-12-astronomers-infrared-brightest-galaxies-universe.html#jCp

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