A team of international researchers has got essential information about the beginning of our universe from the pictures of the early galaxies. These pictures have shown how the early stars and structures of the universe were formed and how the Galaxy’s formation started. To study these early but faint galaxies, the researchers used gravitational lensing, along with data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gran Telescope. They discovered that the first galaxy formation in the universe was not gradual but unstable.
With the help of two special telescopes
The international researchers from the University of Nottingham and the Centro di Astrobiologia used data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), called the Frontier Fields, to identify and study some of the smallest and faintest galaxies in the nearby universe. This gave the researchers information about the formation of a potentially unstable galaxy.
How did the Galaxy start to form?
The first results of this study have recently been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS). Astronomers have been trying to figure out how and when the early galaxies were formed for decades. One of the “how” possibilities is that the first stars in the Galaxy began slowly and gradually became more massive.
Another possibility is that this formation was more intense and irregular, with bursts of very rapid but short-lived star formation triggered by mergers or excess gas accumulation. Pablo G. Perez-Gonzales, the co-author of this study from Spain’s Centro de Astrobiología and lead investigator of the international collaboration for this study, says that the formation of a galaxy can be compared to a car.
Gonzales says that the first type may have been like a diesel engine producing stars in the Galaxy. This process, which is slow but constantly adding new stars, does not happen very fast but takes a long time to slowly convert the gas into stars. On the other hand, this formation can also be a shock, in which giant stars can be formed from the explosion of stars. It causes a stir in the Galaxy, due to which the Galaxy stops for a while or forever.
Special survey data
In each case, processes like mergers or supermassive blackhole effects are different. Their impact on the impact of carbon or oxygen will also vary. Astronomers used data from the GTC of the Survey for High Z Red and Dead Sources (SHARDS) project of giant galaxy clusters and explored nearby galaxies similar to the early galaxies of the universe.
Even before the arrival of the new equipment
The lead researcher of this study, Dr. Alex Griffiths of Nottingham, said that early galaxies can be observed only through a powerful instrument such as the James Webb Space Telescope. Before that, researchers used gravitational lensing with available tools like HST and GST.
The researchers said that some galaxies live in large clusters containing a lot of mass in the form of stars and gas and dark matter. Their weight is so high that they can bend even light and act like natural telescopes called gravitational lenses. From these, distant galaxies can be seen with good brightness and high resolution.
In Frontier Field Survey, investigations have been done through some such massive star clusters. This study has shown that galaxy formation occurred similar to the activities of bursts turning off. The researchers say that their main result has been that the Galaxy’s creation begins with a car that jerks like an unstable one. In which there are also sluggish intervals between periods of fast forming stars.