International Research Team Confirms Very Distant Rare Galaxy Cluster
Today, after years of intensive observation, an international team of researchers associated with such universities as Caltech, Observatorie di Paris, and Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera has confirmed the existence of a rare distant galaxy cluster. Team leader Andrew Newman claimed that their research made this galaxy cluster "one of the best-studied structures from the early universe."
An image of the newly confirmed galaxy cluster can be seen below:
Many of the oldest galaxies can be found in clusters, enormous structures in which up to thousands of galaxies are bound together by gravity. Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe, but to date only a few have been observed in the distant universe. These clusters are considered in the scientific community to be crucial to the understanding of the life cycles of galaxies in the early stages of our Universe, particularly the as yet unknown reason why these galaxies stop forming new stars and become quiescent, or dormant.
The Astrophysical Journal published Newman's research paper, which detailed the team's use of the Hubble Space Telescope to perform spectroscopy, a process in which the telescope splits the starlight from the galaxies into its component colors and captures images of the distant cluster. The team observed nineteen galaxies at precisely the same distance, 9.9 billion light years. This is the most distant cluster of its size that has ever been discovered.
When galaxies become dormant, they continue to expand in size. Scientists hypothesize that this phenomenon occurs when galaxies collide with each other and combine to form larger galaxies, and that early clusters are optimal locations for these collisions. Newman and his team found that, contrary to this belief, non-cluster galaxies grow at the same rate as the galaxies in the observed cluster.