A swarm of galaxies orbiting the vicinity of a hyper-luminous and actively star-forming galaxy in the early universe has been found by a team of astronomers led by scientists from the Niels Bohr Institute.
The observations were conducted in Chile with the Very Large Telescope and the ALMA radio telescope.
The discovery sheds light on how extremely brilliant galaxies develop into powerful quasars, which radiate light throughout most of the observable universe.
The question of how galaxies emerge, develop, and evolve is a fundamental one in astronomy. Most galaxies appear to include a supermassive black hole at their centre as part of their evolution.
However, a team of astronomers led by Michele Ginolfi may have made progress toward understanding this evolution in a recent study that was published in Nature Communications.
Ginolfi and his team concentrated on W0410-0913, one of the most massive, luminous, and gas-rich galaxies in the far reaches of the universe that was first observed 12 billion years ago.
The dust glows and casts the galaxy in its infrared light as a result of being heated by the light energy from the stars and the core black hole. Because of this, these galaxies are known as hot dust shrouded galaxies.
Astronomers now believe that quasars are the extremely luminous centres of galaxies in their infancy.
What exactly are quasars?
Quasars are up to 1,000 times brighter than our Milky Way galaxy, which is the reason why they are so luminous.
Consequently, they must be quite active since they produce astounding volumes of radiation over the whole electromagnetic spectrum.
Quasars are gravitational monsters that occasionally devour neighbouring gas and stars while ejecting extra energy in the form of strong jets.
There are still many unanswered questions regarding the change from “regular” galaxies to quasars.