Astronomers succeeded in identifying an odd distant star-creating galaxy, the light of which needed a raging 13 billion years to reach Earth. Probably the most intriguingly, the galaxy was noticed directly, without the support of a celestial phenomenon such as the gravitational lensing. The galaxy, dubbed MAMBO-9, it was identified for the first time back in 2009, with the Max-Planck Millimeter Bolometer (MAMBO) tool part of the IRAM to-meter telescope in Spain.
Astronomers were, unfortunately, unable to observe the galaxy’s distance from Earth owing to its fascinatingly low brightness. They figured it out that it was very far, but how much it is, couldn’t find out.
Currently, thanks to the sensitivity provided by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), which is situated in the Chilean Andes, they do. The research published in The Astrophysical Journal puts MAMBO-9 at a length of 13 billion light-years from our planet. Such a fact represents a unique observation, especially that the universe itself is 13,8 billion years old.
This Dust-Filled Galaxy Appeared Less Than a Billion Years After The Big Bang
AMBO-9 appeared approximately 970 million years after the Big Bang event. It is an ancient galaxy that could provide information about how the universe was at that time. Caitlin Casey, an astronomer at the University of Texas, Austin, also the lead author of the new research, detailed the importance of the discovery.
She stated: “We found the galaxy in a new ALMA survey specifically designed to identify dusty star-forming galaxies in the early universe. And what is special about this observation is that this the most distant dusty galaxy we have ever seen in an unobstructed way.”
Casey and her team succeeded in measuring the whole mass of gas and dust present in MAMBO-9. This galaxy comprises gas and dust, amounting to 10 times the weight of all the stars in the Milky Way. Such a fact is indeed a significant discovery because it shows that MAMBO-9 had yet to make the broad majority of stars it was destined to develop.