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Old 8th March 2012, 02:17 PM
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Voltairine Voltairine is offline
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Default Distant galaxy cluster found in plain view

Distant galaxy cluster found in plain view

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A team of astronomers has discovered the most distant example of a galaxy cluster lying in the middle of one of the most well-studied regions in the sky.

Galaxy clusters are the ‘urban centres' of the universe and may contain thousands of galaxies. This cluster is located 10.5 billion light-years away from our own Milky Way galaxy and is made up of a dense concentration of 30 galaxies that is the seed for a much bigger ‘city'.

"Our galaxy cluster is observed when the Universe was only three billion years old," said Swinburne University of Technology astrophysicist Dr Lee Spitler, lead author of the study known as the FourStar Galaxy Evolution Survey (Z-FOURGE).

"This means it is still young and should continue to grow into an extremely dense structure containing many more galaxies."

The discovery of this system at such an early stage of the Universe will help astronomers understand how galaxies are influenced by their environment. We see the end result of this process in nearby galaxy clusters, but it is critical to study distant clusters to develop a broad timeline of how galaxies were transformed in densely packed regions.?

"This finding is much like discovering an ancient city that existed earlier than any other known city," said team member Professor Kim-Vy Tran of Texas A&M University.

"In the same way that it's important for humans to search for the oldest known cities to understand civilisations today, it's important to search for the cosmological equivalent of the most ancient cities to understand why galaxies like our Milky Way look the way they do."

Dr Spitler said the discovery was remarkable because the cluster is located in the middle of one of the most well-studied regions of the sky. Near the star constellation Leo, this region has been carefully examined for thousands of hours using all major observing facilities on the ground and in space, including nearly one month of observing time from the Hubble Space Telescope.
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Old 8th March 2012, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Distant galaxy cluster found in plain view

Cool! Thanks for the find, Voltairine
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Old 8th March 2012, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Distant galaxy cluster found in plain view

Noice. Ta for that, Voltairine!
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