Scientists Discover Huge Population Of Hidden Galaxies
Scientists have discovered a large population of hidden galaxies, which could change our entire understanding of how the universe works.
A new breakthrough approach was used to allow astronomers to look closer than ever into the universe that surrounds us.
The galaxies, which were previously unknown to researchers, have been described as a treasure trove and their existence could help solve some of the most deep and fundamental questions, according to the Independent.
#HubbleFriday Believe it or not, this long, luminous streak is a spiral galaxy like our Milky Way. But how could that be? It turns out that we see this galaxy, named NGC 3432, oriented directly edge-on to us from our vantage point here on Earth: https://t.co/uBxvIFuoo5 pic.twitter.com/kujK9X6yBb
- Hubble (@NASAHubble) August 2, 2019
Dr Tao Wang, from the University of Tokyo, told the Independent: "This is the first time that such a large population of massive galaxies was confirmed during the first two billion years of the 13.7-billion-year life of the universe.
"These were previously invisible to us. This finding contravenes current models for that period of cosmic evolution and will help to add some details, which have been missing until now.
"For one thing, the night sky would appear far more majestic. The greater density of stars means there would be many more stars close by appearing larger and brighter."
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"But conversely, the large amount of dust means farther-away stars would be far less visible, so the background to these bright close stars might be a vast dark void."
#HubbleFriday Messier 98 is estimated to contain about a trillion stars, and is full of cosmic dust and hydrogen gas. The galaxy shows the characteristic signs of stars springing to life throughout its bright center and whirling arms: https://t.co/4FMK8QIoUs pic.twitter.com/inTyhLx2cE
- Hubble (@NASAHubble) June 28, 2019
Dr Wang went on to add: "It was tough to convince our peers these galaxies were as old as we suspected them to be.
"Our initial suspicions about their existence came from the Spitzer Space Telescope's infrared data.
"But ALMA has sharp eyes and revealed details at submillimeter wavelengths, the best wavelength to peer through dust present in the early universe.
"Even so, it took further data from the imaginatively named Very Large Telescope in Chile to really prove we were seeing ancient massive galaxies where none had been seen before."
Featured Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Nota (STScI/ESA)