Washington, Oct. 24 (ANI): An India-origin astronomer has discovered the most distant spectroscopically confirmed galaxy ever found, which was created within 700 million years after the Big Bang.
Vithal Tilvi, a Texas A and M postdoctoral research associate and co-author of the paper, said that the discovery raises interesting questions about the origins and the evolution of the universe.
The galaxy, known by its catalog name z8_GND_5296, fascinated the researchers. Whereas our home, the Milky Way, creates about one or two Sun-like stars every year or so, this newly discovered galaxy forms around 300 a year and was observed by the researchers as it was 13 billion years ago.
Texas A and M astrophysicist Casey Papovich, who is second author, said that because of its distance they were able to get a glimpse of conditions when the universe was only about 700 million years old - only 5 percent of its current age of 13.8 billion years.
The researchers suspect they may have zeroed in on the era when the universe made its transition from an opaque state in which most of the hydrogen is neutral to a translucent state in which most of the hydrogen is ionized.
So it's not necessarily that the distant galaxies aren't there. It could be that they're hidden from detection behind a wall of neutral hydrogen fog, which blocks the hydrogen emission signal.
The research has been published in the journal Nature. (ANI)