Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

ESO's Very Large Telescope Investigates The Environment Of A Very Remote Galaxy

Date:
March 12, 2002
Source:
European Southern Observatory
Summary:
Observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have enabled an international group of astronomers to study in unprecedented detail the surroundings of a very remote galaxy, almost 12 billion light-years distant. The corresponding light travel time means that it is seen at a moment only about 3 billion years after the Big Bang.

Observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have enabled an international group of astronomers to study in unprecedented detail the surroundings of a very remote galaxy, almost 12 billion light-years distant. The corresponding light travel time means that it is seen at a moment only about 3 billion years after the Big Bang.

Related Articles


This galaxy is designated MS 1512-cB58 and is the brightest known at such a large distance and such an early time. This is due to a lucky circumstance: a massive cluster of galaxies (MS 1512+36) is located about halfway along the line-of-sight, at a distance of about 7 billion light-years, and acts as a gravitational "magnifying glass". Thanks to this lensing effect, the image of MS1512-cB58 appears 50 times brighter.

Nevertheless, the apparent brightness is still as faint as magnitude 20.6 (i.e., nearly 1 million times fainter than what can be perceived with the unaided eye). Moreover, MS 1512-cB58 is located 36deg north of the celestial equator and never rises more than 29deg above the horizon at Paranal. It was therefore a great challenge to secure the present observational data with the UVES high-dispersion spectrograph on the 8.2-m VLT KUEYEN telescope.

The extremely detailed UVES-spectrum of MS 1512-cB58 displays numerous signatures (absorption lines) of intergalactic gas clouds along the line-of-sight. Some of the clouds are quite close to the galaxy and the astronomers have therefore been able to investigate the distribution of matter in its immediate surroundings.

They found an excess of material near MS 1512-cB58, possible evidence of a young supercluster of galaxies, already at this very early epoch. The new observations thus provide an invaluable contribution to current studies of the birth and evolution of structures in the early Universe.

This is the first time this kind of observation has ever been done of a galaxy at such a large distance. All previous studies were based on much more luminous quasars (QSOs - extremely active galaxy nuclei). However, any investigation of the intergalactic matter around a quasar is complicated by the strong radiation and consequently, high ionization of the gas by the QSO itself, rendering an unbiased assessment of the gas distribution impossible.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Southern Observatory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Southern Observatory. "ESO's Very Large Telescope Investigates The Environment Of A Very Remote Galaxy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020312073510.htm>.
European Southern Observatory. (2002, March 12). ESO's Very Large Telescope Investigates The Environment Of A Very Remote Galaxy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020312073510.htm
European Southern Observatory. "ESO's Very Large Telescope Investigates The Environment Of A Very Remote Galaxy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020312073510.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) Scientists working with NASA&apos;s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California discovered an unexpected moon while observing asteroid 2004 BL86 during its recent flyby past Earth. Credit to &apos;NASA JPL&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Eleven years ago NASA&apos;s Opportunity rover touched down on Mars for what was only supposed to be a 90-day mission. Since then it has traveled 25.9 miles (41.7 kilometers), further than any other off-Earth surface vehicle has ever driven. Credit to &apos;NASA&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) NASA&apos;s New Horizons probe is en route to snap a picture of Pluto this summer, but making sure it doesn&apos;t miss its one chance to do so starts now. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins