Home > Astronomy, Cosmology, Galaxies, General Astronomy, Star & Solar System Formation > Discovery Of An Ancient Celestial City Undergoing Rapid Growth: A Young Protocluster Of Active Star-Forming Galaxies

Discovery Of An Ancient Celestial City Undergoing Rapid Growth: A Young Protocluster Of Active Star-Forming Galaxies


Using the Multi-Object Infrared Camera and Spectrograph (MOIRCS) mounted on the Subaru Telescope, a team of astronomers led by Dr. Masao Hayashi (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan or NAOJ) and Dr. Tadayuki Kodama (Subaru Telescope, NAOJ) has discovered a protocluster of galaxies in the midst of a vigorous process of formation. It is the densest and most active protocluster ever identified at so great a distance, 11 billion light years away from Earth. The star formation rate in the protocluster is intense, sometimes reaching a rate over 100 times greater than that of the Milky Way Galaxy. Although old, inactive elliptical galaxies dominate present-day galaxy clusters, the recently discovered protocluster is a site where progenitors of clusters of current elliptical galaxies were just forming and growing rapidly. It will serve as an ideal laboratory for investigating how a cluster develops and how a special, dense environment can influence the formation and evolution of galaxies.

Full Story: http://www.naoj.org/Pressrelease/2012/08/30/index.html

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