The ALMA telescope captures high-resolution images of previously unseen distant galaxies

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international team of astronomers has obtained high-resolution images of an ancient galaxy just 600 million years after the Big Bang. Named MACS0416_Y1, the galaxy is located 13.2 billion light-years away and is the most distant galaxy ever observed.

Images obtained with ALMA reveal a fascinating tapestry of dark and emission nebulae, which together form a gigantic cavity known as the superbubble. Scientists believed that this superbubble was the result of shock waves from the birth of pulsating stars and supernova explosions. This revelation provides key insights into galaxy formation and the birth and death of stars.

The left image shows the dark nebula (dust shown in red) and the emission nebula (oxygen in green), along with an image of stars captured by the Hubble Space Telescope (blue). The right image shows radio waves emitted by dust in the dark nebula. A vertically elongated elliptical cavity, a superbuble candidate, is visible in the central region.

In 2019, the same team detected radio waves emitted by both oxygen and dust, two components of the interstellar nebula. To obtain these radio images, the researchers observed the galaxy for 28 hours and the results show that the emission and dark nebulae are closely intertwined, each carving out its own niche, suggesting a process in which new stars born within the dark nebulae ionize the surrounding gas. .

Previous studies have shown that this ancient galaxy is producing stars at a staggering rate, almost 100 times more than our own Milky Way galaxy. Such intense star formation triggered a series of supernova explosions, leading to this vast superbubble.

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Also, the team analyzed the movement of gas within the nebula and found that it was in a turbulent state, with speeds reaching 200,000 kilometers per hour.

Professor Yoichi Tamura of Nagoya University, who led the team behind the discovery. Mentioned„It is suggested that under such turbulent conditions, stars may form into massive clusters. These massive star clusters are characteristic of galaxies in the early universe.”

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