The Hubble Telescope has embarked a new mission, aiming to observe six galaxy clusters that may offer us more information on how the early galaxies evolved since the birth of the universe. Learning how the first galaxy formed would give us an invaluable insight about the inner works of the universe.
Hubble has already found some far-away galaxies, but since their number is quite low, it is hard for researchers to decide if they can consider them representative for the universe. Initial surveys from the Beyond Ultra-Deep Frontier Fields And Legacy Observations has showed that galaxy cluster Abell 370 and, where some of the early galaxies can be found.
An interesting manifestation of galaxy clusters is the magnifying glass effect. They have a mass so huge that it can bend and intensify the light of distant objects which are situated behind it, which increases the detection capabilities of Hubble’s sensor array. This phenomenon allows Hubble to observe some of the oldest galaxies that have been found until now. The proper name of the phenomenon is strong gravitational lensing, and it has been used successfully on other occasions.
The BUFFALO initiative may discover the conditions in which the eons old supermassive galaxies formed and how can we link the formation of these luminous galaxies to the existence of dark matter. Researchers will also learn the speed at which the galaxies formed in the first billion years. This will make the job easier for the new James Webb satellite that is set to launch in a few years, and continue the missions of Hubble.
Hubble has provided years of service and it has surpassed the expectations of astronomers several times during its existence, as it found value information that helped us improve both our knowledge, and the technology used in the missions that came after Hubble’s launch.
The results are awaited by the astronomic community in the following months.
Karen and her husband live on a plot of land in British Columbia. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. They are also currently planning a move to a small cabin they hand built. Karen’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Thus sprung Anna’s interest in backyard gardening, chicken and goat keeping, recycling and self-sufficiency.