Most Distant Galaxy Contains Ancient Stardust That Gives Insight Into First Stars

Posted: Mar 9 2017, 5:50am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Most Distant Galaxy Contains Ancient Stardust That Gives Insight Into First Stars
This artist’s impression shows what the very distant young galaxy A2744_YD4, seen when the Universe was just 4% of its current age, might look like. Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

ALMA detected the youngest and most galaxy, A2744_YD4

ALMA has been used by international team of astronomers to observe A2744_YD4 that’s a remote galaxy, and it’s the youngest of all other galaxies. The research team observed that, the galaxy was abundant in interstellar dust. This kind of dust developed after the early stars’ deaths.

Followed by other observations from ESO, the distant galaxy A2744_YD4 was confirmed. It seems that galaxy formed at the time of 600 million years old universe when stars and galaxies started developing.

The dust in the distant galaxy consisted of silicon, aluminum, and carbon in the form of grains equal to millionth of a centimeter. Grains’ chemicals get into stars and get scattered in the galaxy after the death of stars due to supernova, the phenomenon of explosion. Now the dust is in abundance, but it was absent in early times.

Scientists observed the galaxy A2744_YD4, because it’s located behind another galaxy named Abell 2744. Due to gravitational lensing the cluster became a telescope of giant cosmic that can magnify even distant galaxies, like A2744_YD4 up to 1.8 times. The observation can help scientists understand early universe.

Scientists also observed glowing ions of oxygen through ALMA that emitted from A2744_YD4. This is the first time researchers observed oxygen from earliest times. The dust help sscientists find the first supernova explosion’s time. Knowing the time of supernova is a biggest achievement in astronomy.

The research team found that A2744_YD4 had dust equal to 6 million times the sun’s mass. The total stellar mass of galaxy and that of all stars was 2 billion times of sun’s mass. The rate of development of stars in A2744_YD4 was also calculated by the team, i.e. 20 solar masses per year as compared to one Milky way i.e. one solar mass per year.

Scientists don’t find this rate unique, but it helped them find how fast A2744_YD4 had dust, explained Richard Ellis (ESO and University College London), a co-author of the study.

The study also shows that stars stopped developing 200 million years before the epoch. It was an opportunity for ALMA to study earliest era of stars and galaxies. Earth and sun became 13 billion years after that. So, the observation helped scientists understand our origins.

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