Scientists have discovered some new clues about the formation of galaxies. The 13.8 billion years old universe is the home to about 100 billion galaxies, composed of stars, gas and dust. But researchers do not know for sure how these clusters came into existence. For capturing light from the early universe, the European Space Agency’s Planck telescope used cosmic microwave background signals and created a map of the radiation left by the Big Bang. Subsequently, the Herschel telescope was used to zoom in on some of the clusters which were captured by the Planck telescope. This helped the researchers to examine the precursors of galaxies.
Hervé Dole, lead author of the study said “Finding so many intensely star-forming, dust galaxies in such concentrated groups was a huge surprise. We think this is a missing piece of cosmological structure formation.” NASA explained that stars and galaxies were abundant in the early universe and they possibly collapsed under the weight of gravity, triggering the creation of new stars and galaxies.
The study has revealed that galaxies from the early universe were able to create stars from gas and dust at a rate of 1,500 solar masses per year. The average for Milky Way today is about one solar mass per year, which implies that one star, having the mass of our sun, is created from dust and gas every year, as per the European Space Agency. However, the age of distant clusters has not been determined yet. The study has been published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.