A team of researchers discovered an interesting radio signal which originated from interstellar dust which is found within MACS0416_Y1, a galaxy located in the Eridanus constellation, at approximately 13.2 billion light-years away from Earth. The researchers were puzzled by the massive amount of dust which was found in the galaxy. The amount is too significant for a relatively early galaxy, and it is likely that scientists will have to rethink the theories related to star formation.
It is now believed that the before-mentioned galaxy underwent two starburst periods which took place after 300 million and 600 million years passed after the Big Bang. It is also expected that a quiet interval divides the two periods.
Stars are found throughout the entire universe, but many astronomers don’t think about two essential details: gas and stardust. When a star approaches the final stages of its lifespan, it will often emit a high amount of gas which is accompanied by the stardust. When researchers find cosmic clouds formed by dust and gases they know that they are looking at an area where stars have already developed and died.
Star formation theories might be changed after scientists studied ancient stars of billion of years old
To learn more about the interstellar dust and the ancient stars which are found within MACS0416_Y1 galaxy, the researchers decided to use the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (which is also known as ALMA). The radio waves which were detected by the device traveled for approximately 13.2 billion light-years to reach us. In plain terms, that means that they date back to 600 million years after the Big Ban took place.
Other devices like the Hubble Space Telescope, the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope were used to observe the light emitted by the stars, with the study noting that they have a stellar age of four million years. The new information is surprising, and some researchers are already analyzing possible scenarios.
The results of the research will play a significant role in the task of understanding how the universe evolved during the early stages.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.