A team of researchers who were observing the sky with the NASA Spitzer space telescope was able to look into the past as they discovered what appears to be some of the most ancient galaxies from the early Universe.
At first sight, they look like small orange dots on a black canvas, quite similar to the famous image of the black hole. These low lights are primordial galaxies which contain young stars powered by hydrogen and helium. They are surprisingly bright, and by studying them, the researchers hope to learn more about one of the most important events which took place in our galaxy. This event is known as the Epoch of Reionization.
According to the study Spitzer focused on the same area of the sky for more than 200 hours as it surveyed the void. The initiative is a smaller segment in a campaign known as the GOODS Re-Ionization Era wide-area Treasury from Spitzer (GREATS). The Hubble Space Telescope contributed with a large amount of data.
NASA studies ancient galaxies from the early Universe
As Spitzer observed the area, it detected a significant amount of light which traveled across to universe for an extended period. Weak infrared signals led to the discovery of 135 distant galaxies. A large amount of ionizing radiation produced the signals, and it is believed that this particular type of radiation played an essential role in the Epoch of Reionization, a phenomenon which shaped the universe in the form that is known today.
The exact of these changes has remained elusive but many it is thought that the data provided by Spitzer could allow researchers to answer some of the questions which surround the topic. The results are quite fascinating, even more so when you take into account the fact that they were found with the help of Spitzer, which isn’t as advanced as other telescopes.
The Spitzer observatory was launched in 2013, and many discoveries were made with its help. The spacecraft carries three instruments which help it to distinguish between different light wavelengths.
Sam is a freelance writer who has experience writing in the digital world for 4 years after he quit his job. Sam’s interests in current world affairs gave him the drive to pursue a career in journalism. Sam originates from Russia, lived in Canada for a short time between 2011 and 2013, then moved to New York to pursue his career.