Spotting The Universe’s First Dark Galaxies
July 11, 2012 Leave a Comment
Dark galaxies are small, gas-rich objects from the early universe. A telescope in South America has apparently found evidence of these primitive galaxies born in the early universe.
These galaxies are considered devoid stars, but are packed with gas. These stars have long been predicted in galaxy formation theories, but have been quite elusive for scientists to discover. An international team of astronomers may have found dark galaxies by using the light from quasars, the brightest and most energetic objects in the universe, as a guide.
These quasars are powered by enormous black holes that give off huge amounts of energy and light as gas, dust, and other material falls into their cores. The astronomers were able to pinpoint the dark galaxies by their glow from the quasars light.
Scientists estimate that the mass of the gas in such galaxies is roughly 1 billion times that of the sun, which is expected for gas-rich, low-mass galaxies in the early universe. Dark galaxies are thought to be the building blocks of the bright, star-filled galaxies we see today.
Dark galaxies are inherently challenging to spot due to the fact that they have no stars, don’t emit much light, and exist deep within the cosmos.
It is pretty amazing how far we can peer into the cosmos now: