Discovered the most distant galaxy cluster


08/03/2012

Team of astronomers has discovered the most distant cluster of red galaxies, known to us. This discovery was made with the help of a powerful new near-infrared camera on the telescope FourStar 6.5m Magellan Baade Telescope. This galactic cluster is located at a distance of 10.5 billion light-years away towards the constellation of Leo. It consists of 30 galaxies tightly grouped together and is the earliest known science, "galactic city" in the universe. This discovery will be published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters.

It is noteworthy that this cluster remained unnoticed in previous studies in which this region of the sky has been studied for thousands of hours of all major terrestrial and space observation stations, including the Hubble Space Telescope. Despite such a density of observations, accurate distances to such faint and distant galaxies, it was impossible to determine before the camera FourStar.

Eric Persson of the Carnegie Observatories led the development of this new camera, which was made possible thanks to this discovery. Persson and his team have provided FourStar five special filters that allow you to do a photo-sensitive thin layer of the near-infrared region of the spectrum. This powerful approach allows us to determine the exact distance between the Earth and thousands of distant galaxies at a time, which made it possible to create a 3-D map of the early universe.

3-D map can clearly see the cluster of galaxies in the form in which they existed when the universe was three billion years. "This means that the galactic cluster is still very young and should continue to grow, turning into an incredibly dense structure composed of thousands of galaxies," - said the lead author Lee Spitler of the Australian Institute of Technology

The study of this system will allow astronomers to understand the impact on the galaxy has their surroundings as they develop and gather in larger structures. This discovery was made in the course of a larger project, FourStar Galaxy Evolution Survey ("Z-FOURGE"), which is headed by Ivo Labbe of the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands. Its purpose is the classical problem of observational astronomy: determining distances. Only then it becomes clear whether a visible point of light from the star of our own Milky Way, a neighboring galaxy or distant galactic cluster.

In the first six months of observation, the team determined the exact distance to the faintest galaxies in the region of the sky, with an area equal to one-fifth of the apparent size of the moon. Although this is a relatively small, but they found thousands of galaxies at even greater distances than this cluster. "Excellent image quality and sensitivity of Magellan and FourStar help a lot in our business," - said Labbe. "We look forward to many unexpected discoveries."

Original: Physorg com


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