Astronomers discovered a galaxy cluster situated at 11.1 billion light-years away from our planet. The finding breaks the record of the most distant galaxy ever observed so far in our Universe.
The group of galaxies has the name CL J1001. It was found by the combining efforts of the Chandra X-ray Observatory and other space telescopes situated all over the world. The instrumented detected a large quantity of hot gas, which pointed out to the existence of the cluster.
There are 11 galaxies in the gravitational bond, nine out of which are in the process of star birth.
“This galaxy cluster isn’t just remarkable for its distance, it’s also going through an amazing growth spurt unlike any we’ve ever seen,” said Tao Wang, the lead investigator in the discovery.
The cluster appears to be in an early stage of development, which is completely new to researchers. Because of its distance to Earth, the astronomical recordings show an image that is already in the past.
The discovery had led researchers to believe that the first galaxy clusters had been formed with 700 million years before it was initially thought.
Before the finding of the CL J1001, the farthest galaxies were a group of protoclusters. They were situated at quite a distance one from another. The experts explain that a cluster needs a gravitational bound. This, in turn, keeps the galaxies together. CL J1001 fits this description.
The New Galaxy Cluster
The galaxy cluster was observed by scientists at the very moment when the distant galaxies came together into a young yet mature group. The situation is highly new to researchers, as they never before have witnessed such a cosmic process.
The fact that nine of the galaxies from the cluster are undertaking a baby boom situation. The astronomers believe that the star formation increases after the galaxies come together in a gravitational bond.
Another conclusion was that star formations are much more violent and rapid in a cluster than in an isolated galaxy.
CL J1001 challenged the current cosmological simulations. The researchers will need to figure out whether this is because these types of galaxy clusters are very rare, or because the star birth in clusters has a different speed than previously believed.
The discovery of the newly-formed galaxy cluster will help scientists to gather more data on the space manifestations and gravitational bonds. The astronomers will continue to look for other such examples out there in space. In time, they will get a complete map of the Universe.
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