New Galaxy Shipyard Found in the Distant Universe
Image: Pixabay

New Galaxy Shipyard Found in the Distant Universe

Are we close to discover why galaxies gather in groups?
Are we close to discover why galaxies gather in groups?

Scientists found a new but relatively old galaxy shipyard, identical to the one our star system formed in. 

The G237 accumulation of galaxies currently sustains over 60 galaxies. Galaxy clusters are the biggest structures in the cosmos. Therefore the latest discovery will shed more light on their early-stage and development. However, astronomers are still to find why galaxies gather in groups. 

Ancient galaxy shipyard 

So far, we know the structure is 11 billion light-years away from our planet and is three billion years old. You can also read the paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

We know little about protoclusters. These structures are hard to detect with optical light. However, scientists managed to find it with the help of the European Space Agency’s Planck (ES) telescope. After more studying, the galaxy shipyard was confirmed via the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona and the Subaru Telescope in Japan. Experts also used the Herschel Space Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope to gather more data. 

Protocluster G237 creates stars at a fast rate

The weird fact about this galaxy conglomeration is that it creates a high number of stars incredibly fast. Stars need hydrogen to form; however, protoclusters don’t usually have enough to create so many in such a short time.

The latest observations show that the galaxy shipyard could get hydrogen from gas filaments. Therefore, stars come to life quickly where filaments cross paths in the spider web. However, this is just the beginning of uncovering the deep mysteries of the largest structures in the universe. 

“Protoclusters offer an opportunity to investigate key questions in astronomy that only this new observatory can answer,” said Brenda Frye, an associate professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory and a co-author of the study. 

What is behind the massive star formation? When will the hydrogen be exhausted? In theory, this galaxy shipyard should turn into a supercluster similar to our Milky Way after its fuel runs out. However, these questions will remain a mystery for now.