It found the oldest spiral galaxy in the universe
With the help of space telescopes like "Hubble", astronomers try to go deeper and deeper insight into the cosmic web of the universe. After all, the more you look, the deeper back in time you penetrate, and it allows you to see how the universe looked like billions of years ago. With the launch and the start of the work of other more advanced technologies, telescopes and observatories, scientists can study the history and evolution of the cosmos in greater detail.
Recently, an international team of astronomers using a telescope "Gemini North" Gemini Observatory located on Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii, found a spiral galaxy, located 11 billion light-years away.
Using a new method that combines gravitational lensing and the spectrograph, the scientists were able to see an object that existed 2, 6 billion years ago with the Big Bang. Galaxy got A1689B11 title and is currently the oldest ever discovered of spiral galaxies. About his discovery, astronomers have shared in the pages of the latest issue of The Astrophysical Journal.
Find the very galaxy A1689B11 allowed method of gravitational lensing. This method is very often used by astronomers, and involves the use of very large objects (such as clusters of galaxies) as a kind of lens that allows light to an object placed behind the lens, her skirt. For this light, and astronomers have been monitoring. A press release from Swinburne University of Technology astronomer Tiantian Yuan, head of the research team, says:
"This method allows for the study of ancient galaxies with very high visual resolution and an unprecedented level of detail. We were able to observe the galaxy, such as it was 11 billion years ago and have become direct witnesses of the formation of the first primitive galactic spiral arms. "
After this, the researchers used a spectrograph NIFS (Near-infrared Integral Field Spectrograph), mounted on the telescope "Gemini North" to confirm the structure and nature of the oldest spiral galaxy. The tool was created by astronomer Peter McGregor at the Australian National University. The scientist responsible for its calibration and proper operation.
Due to recent discoveries, scientists learn more about how galaxies acquired their shape. According created famous astronomer Edwin Hubble classification galaxies (Hubble sequence), there are three basic types of objects - elliptical, lenticular and spiral - as well as the fourth, the additional category, called irregular galaxies.
According to this classification all galaxies begin their formation with elliptic structures, then modified and take the form of spiral, lenticular or irregular galaxies. Therefore, the discovery of such a very old spiral galaxy is especially important to understand when and how the earliest galaxies began to change its shape with elliptical and acquire more modern.
"The study of ancient spiral galaxies like A1689B11, is an important link in understanding the mysteries of how and when to start the Hubble sequence. Spiral galaxies are very rare in the early Universe, and this discovery opens the door for us to examine how the galactic shift from a very chaotic, turbulent disc-shaped in a much quieter, thin galactic disks, such as our galaxy the Milky Way " - says study co-author, astronomer at Princeton University Renyue prices.
But the most interesting in the opening A1689B11 is that this spiral galaxy shows some very amazing features that reveal more detail and at the same time forced to ask more questions regarding this period of cosmic history. Yuan says, these features bright contrast against the background of today's galaxies of the same type.
"Compared with younger galaxies of the same type in this ancient galaxy, new stars are forming 20 times faster. That is almost the same level as that of the young galaxies with the same weight that existed in the early universe, "- says Yuan.
"However, unlike in other galaxies same epoch A1689B11 has very cold and thin disk, rotating very easy and surprisingly a very small turbulence level. This type of spiral galaxies belonging to that era, we have never seen before. "
In the future, a team of astronomers hope to conduct additional studies of this galaxy to make out its structure in greater detail and nature, as well as to compare it with the other spiral galaxies from the same era. Of particular interest to scientists is the question of the origin of the spiral arms, projecting a kind of marker of the transition between the ancient elliptical galaxies to more modern spiral, lenticular, and irregular.