First Detailed Look At A Normal Galaxy In The Very Early Universe
University of Hawaii at Manoa astronomer Regina Jorgenson has obtained the first image that shows the structure of a normal galaxy in the early universe as captured by the W. M. Keck Observatory. The results were presented at the winter American Astronomical Society meeting being held this week near Washington, DC.
The galaxy, called DLA2222-0946, is so faint that it is virtually invisible at all but a few specific wavelengths. It is a member of a class of galaxies thought to be the progenitors of spiral galaxies like our own Milky Way.
These galaxies are known to contain most of the neutral gas that is the fuel for star formation, so they are an important tool for understanding star and galaxy formation and evolution. Discovered and classified over 30 years ago, they have been notoriously difficult to see directly.