Astronomers have managed to see a galaxy cluster very far away from the earth. It is in fact 11.1 billion light years away from our home planet and the most distant galaxy cluster that has ever been seen uptil now.
NASA astronomers have discovered a galaxy cluster that breaks all records for most distant object ever seen. Termed CL J1001+0220 it lies a mindboggling 11.1 billion light years away from the earth.
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Astronomers managed to espy this galaxy cluster by employing NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory as well as a host of other special telescopes.
There are a total of 11 galaxies in the cluster. Nine of them are in a state of having new star births occurring in their contexts. Thus it is not just the large distance that is an interesting fact about this galaxy cluster.
The surprising growth phase it is undergoing is another curiosity that cannot be ignored. Such a burgeoning of star systems has seldom been seen before.
This galaxy cluster is a relatively new one that is still in its early stages of evolution. The astronomers were not ready for such a cornucopia of data regarding a heavenly object so far away.
Since the light from this cluster takes 11.1 billion years to reach the earth, studying CL J1001 provides astronomers a unique window into the distant past.
This finding shows that the most nascent galaxy clusters formed 700 million years ago in time. If there are any galaxies farther away than this remote outpost of the known universe, they consist of protoclusters (which means that they are not genuine clusters to begin with).
In order to pass the test of being a proper cluster there must be some forces of gravitation between the members of the galaxy cluster.
The scientists seem to have captured snapshots of this cluster of galaxies at a time when it was making the transition from a haphazard group of galaxies to a youthful but strong galaxy cluster.
The nascent burgeoning of star births shows that star formation occurs after the generation of a galaxy cluster rather than in isolated conditions. The birth of stars is both quick and chaotic in its intensity.
The astronomers will be learning a lot from a thorough study of this distant galaxy cluster. Also other similar objects in the far pavilions of space will be studied by scientists. This is in order to widen humanity’s knowledge base regarding the universe and our place in it.
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This study got published in The Astrophysical Journal.