Thursday, December 10, 2015

ALMA Spots Monstrous Baby Galaxies Cradled in Dark Matter

Monstrous galaxies are thought to preferentially be born at the centers of the web-like structures of dark matter and are formed by young galaxies. 

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered a nest of monstrous baby galaxies 11.5 billion light-years away. These young galaxies seem to reside at the junction of gigantic filaments in a web of dark matter. These findings are important for understanding how monstrous galaxies like these form and how they evolve into huge elliptical galaxies.

A press release on these results was issued by The University of Tokyo in Japanese. The English version was translated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. The full text is available here.

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This observation result was published as Umehata et al. “ALMA Deep Field in SSA22: A concentration of dusty starbursts in a z=3.09 protocluster core” in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, issued on December 4, 2015.

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded by ESO on behalf of its Member States, by NSF in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI).

ALMA construction and operations are led by ESO on behalf of its Member States; by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), on behalf of North America; and by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) on behalf of East Asia. The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.