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Monstrous 'Baby' Galaxies In Dark Matter Spotted With ALMA

First Posted: Dec 04, 2015 01:54 PM EST
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Astronomers have found several monstrous "baby" galaxies surrounded by dark matter. The galaxies are 11.5 billion light years away from the earth and the discovery was made using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, according to a news release.

The finding of these galaxies is shedding new light on the formation of these large galaxies and how they evolve in to massive elliptical galaxies. Ten million years ago, before the birth of the earth and the sun, the universe was covered with many massive galaxies and star formation rates were hundreds and thousands of times greater than in the Milky Way galaxy today.

There are no monstrous galaxies in the modern universe. However, astronomers believe that young monstrous galaxies eventually become giant elliptical galaxies. These monstrous galaxies are formed in areas with high concentrations of dark matter, according to the researchers.

In order to find these monstrous galaxies, the researchers used ALMA to carry out their observations of an area in the sky known as SSA22, which is in the constellation Aquarius. With its high resolution, ALMA detected nine monstrous galaxies in SSA22.

The researchers found that the young monstrous galaxies were located between dark matter filaments, which indicated that these galaxies are formed in areas with high concentrations of dark matter. The finding of these monstrous galaxies is enabling researchers to have a better understanding of dark matter and how it relates to the evolution of monstrous galaxies.

The findings of this study were published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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