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Astronomical surprise: Massive old galaxies starve to death in the infant universe
Carnegie Institution of Washington ^ | 10 March 2005 | Staff

Posted on 03/21/2005 7:00:41 AM PST by PatrickHenry

Astronomers have found distant red galaxies—very massive and very old—in the universe when it was only 2.5 billion years post Big Bang. “Previous observations suggested that the universe at this age was home to young, small clumps of galaxies long before they merged into massive structures we see today,” remarked Carnegie Observatories Ivo Labbé, who led the group of astronomers in the study. [Members of the research project are listed at the end of the original article.] “We are really amazed — these are the earliest, oldest galaxies found to date. Their existence was not predicted by theory and it pushes back the formation epoch of some of the most massive galaxies we see today."

About two years ago, astronomers from Leiden (The Netherlands) using the European ground-based Very Large Telescope found a population of distant red galaxies in the near infrared. But the images could not ascertain what made the galaxies red: Were they old and “dead” and no longer forming stars, or were massive amounts of dust obscuring star-forming regions?

The Labbé-led group used the infrared-imaging Spitzer Space Telescope to analyze the content of the new galactic population to address the questions of age, stellar mass, and activity. Giovanni Fazio (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), a co-author on the study, said, "Spitzer offers capabilities that the Hubble Space Telescope and other instruments don't, giving us a unique way to study very distant galaxies long ago that eventually became the galaxies we see around us now."

The team was particularly surprised to find very old, red galaxies that had stopped forming new stars altogether. They had rapidly formed massive amounts of stars out of gas much earlier in the universe's history, but then suddenly starved to death, raising the question of what caused them to die so early. Such "red and dead" galaxies may be the forefathers of some of the old and giant elliptical galaxies seen in the local universe today.

In addition to the old "dead” galaxies long past star formation, there were other red, dusty galaxies still vigorously producing stars. Jiasheng Huang (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) said, "We're detecting galaxies we never expected to find, having a wide range of properties we never expected to see." Apparently, the early universe was already a wildly complex place. "It's becoming more and more clear that the young universe was a big zoo with animals of all sorts," continued Labbé. "There's as much variety in the early universe as we see around us today."

Ultimately, these studies will help to unravel how galaxies like our Milky Way assembled and how they got to look the way they appear today. The research will be published in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal (Letters).


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: astronomy; cosmology; haltonarp; redshift
There was an earlier thread somewhat related to this, but the current article has more information:
Surprise Discovery in the Early Universe [earliest known massive cluster of galaxies].
1 posted on 03/21/2005 7:00:42 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
Science Ping! An elite subset of the Evolution list.
See list's description in my freeper homepage. Then FReepmail to be added/dropped.

2 posted on 03/21/2005 7:02:09 AM PST by PatrickHenry (<-- Click on my name. The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: PatrickHenry
"...Their existence was not predicted by theory and it pushes back the formation epoch of some of the most massive galaxies we see today."

Well, back to the old drawing board...

3 posted on 03/21/2005 7:06:11 AM PST by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: PatrickHenry

Yet another observation that doesn't fit into the big bang model. Add that to the super giant galaxy spiral galaxy that is some 80 times the size of the Milkyway, Galaxy structure, galaxy cluster motion. And a lot more that I can't remember.


4 posted on 03/21/2005 7:09:48 AM PST by biblewonk (Neither was the man created for woman but the woman for the man.)
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To: PatrickHenry
“We are really amazed — these are the earliest, oldest galaxies found to date. Their existence was not predicted by theory and it pushes back the formation epoch of some of the most massive galaxies we see today."

Darwin Central will be upset. Somebody forgot to supress a jarring data point.

5 posted on 03/21/2005 7:10:56 AM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: PatrickHenry
How big is a "red giant" star? I believe that if our Sun had Beatlegues' diameter we would be inside the star.
6 posted on 03/21/2005 7:12:48 AM PST by sandydipper (Less government is best government!)
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To: PatrickHenry

Wow...the universe rocks!

Once again I have to step back from all the 'mundane' posts and just boggle at the enormity of everything and think how cool it is to take part for an instant.


7 posted on 03/21/2005 7:16:43 AM PST by johnmilken (75% of my posts are proved wrong within 10 minutes...)
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To: VadeRetro
Darwin Central will be upset. Somebody forgot to supress a jarring data point.

What the anti-science posters still don't understand -- and probably never will -- is that scientists love it when stuff like this is observed. It's an opportunity to learn more about the universe, and to improve their theories. But we'll be seeing several more posts to the effect that this is some kind of a disaster, which will cause the whole edifice of science to come crashing down.

8 posted on 03/21/2005 7:19:45 AM PST by PatrickHenry (<-- Click on my name. The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: PatrickHenry

Isn't God AWESOME!!! We can't even begin to imagine the totality of what He spoke into existence in order that we might exist as we do. If His universe is any indication, I find it easy to believe that living with Him in Eternity will not grow old or stale, but be a continuous delight.


9 posted on 03/21/2005 7:22:08 AM PST by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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To: PatrickHenry

bttt


10 posted on 03/21/2005 7:24:16 AM PST by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: PatrickHenry
Notice that none of the scientists came right out and said.

"We were wrong"

11 posted on 03/21/2005 7:24:16 AM PST by Centurion2000 (Nations do not survive by setting examples for others. Nations survive by making examples of others)
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To: sandydipper
How big is a "red giant" star? I believe that if our Sun had Beatlegues' diameter we would be inside the star.

Right.

At its most likely distance of 425 light years, its measured angular diameter yields a radius 630 times that of the Sun, 2.9 astronomical units. If placed at the Sun, the star would go 55% of the way to the orbit of the planet Jupiter. The star is so large that it is the first ever actually directly imaged as a disk from Earth (by the Hubble Space Telescope).
From this website: BETELGEUSE (Alpha Orionis).
12 posted on 03/21/2005 7:24:30 AM PST by PatrickHenry (<-- Click on my name. The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: PatrickHenry
They had rapidly formed massive amounts of stars out of gas much earlier in the universe's history, but then suddenly starved to death, ...

Did Judge Greer make another ruling?

13 posted on 03/21/2005 7:25:59 AM PST by shekkian
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To: PatrickHenry
But we'll be seeing several more posts to the effect that this is some kind of a disaster, which will cause the whole edifice of science to come crashing down.

It was just a house of cards you know. Now it's all collapsed, all an illusion. Perhaps my car won't start or my computer won't boot up. It's only a coincidence they've been working so far. We're melting away! Melting away! What a world!

14 posted on 03/21/2005 7:28:10 AM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: PatrickHenry

Thanks for the ping!


15 posted on 03/21/2005 7:28:58 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: PatrickHenry

Judge Greer's fault.

Reinsert the feeding tube.


16 posted on 03/21/2005 7:29:00 AM PST by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - Islam Delenda Est! - Rumble thee forth...)
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To: Junior
"...Their existence was not predicted by theory and it pushes back the formation epoch of some of the most massive galaxies we see today."Well, back to the old drawing board..."

FACTS change? Facts changes our outlook? No dumbocrats in this field of study ..that's for sure!

17 posted on 03/21/2005 7:35:44 AM PST by litehaus
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To: sandydipper
How big is a "red giant" star? I believe that if our Sun had Beatlegues' diameter we would be inside the star.

Antares would swallow up Mars. Of course red giants have another nickname as well, Red-hot vaccuum.

18 posted on 03/21/2005 7:36:56 AM PST by Centurion2000 (Nations do not survive by setting examples for others. Nations survive by making examples of others)
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To: PatrickHenry

Betelgeuse was always one of my favorite stars to watch on the 4-8 watch when I was working the Hawaiian waters. When out at sea and miles away from artificial light sources its true magnificence shows. It changes from red to yellow to blue through the spectrum as it “twinkles”, a truly awesome beacon in the sky.


19 posted on 03/21/2005 7:40:31 AM PST by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: PatrickHenry

starve to death in the infant universe

Mind control Auschwitz agenda ping
20 posted on 03/21/2005 7:57:40 AM PST by Truth666 (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Proof+that+at+least+one+of+two%22)
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To: litehaus

No, facts do not change. No one said any facts changed. What changed were the predictions made by the current theory. Man, talk about grasping at something not in evidence.


21 posted on 03/21/2005 8:00:50 AM PST by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: VadeRetro
Perhaps my car won't start or my computer won't boot up.

I can't help with the car, but perhaps if you switched to CP/M you could solve the booting problems.

22 posted on 03/21/2005 8:11:29 AM PST by PAR35
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To: PAR35
I've got a working CP/M computer (Osborne 1) now. But I'd have to clean the mouse nests out of it and the NEC Spinwriter I used with it before bringing them up from the basement.
23 posted on 03/21/2005 8:15:40 AM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: trebb; PatrickHenry

Yes, God IS Awesome. Religion and Science are NOT incompatible.


24 posted on 03/21/2005 8:17:34 AM PST by Cronos (Never forget 9/11)
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To: VadeRetro
NEC Spinwriter

I have a Smith Corona daisywheel with mine. I still regret that I didn't spring for the 300 baud modem. I could cruise the internet without fear of virus.

25 posted on 03/21/2005 8:26:40 AM PST by PAR35
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To: PatrickHenry

Let's face it, real technology to really start viewing and mapping the expanse of the cosmos is less then 20 years old. Scientists are too smug in my opinion for the little bit of truth we have yet uncovered.

I think it will be another 100 before we know enough to propel technology to the next level of an actual exploration stage beyond our solar system.

At one time the earth and sea seemed so huge when it took a couple hundred days to travel across it. Space is much bigger and more complex but ultimately explorable.


26 posted on 03/21/2005 8:27:46 AM PST by quantfive
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To: PatrickHenry

This puts a new spin on the old liberal slogan "better red than dead." You can be both.


27 posted on 03/21/2005 8:28:07 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: PatrickHenry

bump for later reading


28 posted on 03/21/2005 8:47:18 AM PST by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: PAR35
I actually wrote a CP/M command in Z-80 assembler. It counts the words in Wordstar files. Very sophisticated, it ignores lines which start with a period as such are Wordstar "dot commands."
29 posted on 03/21/2005 8:47:36 AM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: VadeRetro

Impressive. I wrote some stuff in Basic for mine, but I never attempted the more sophisticated stuff.


30 posted on 03/21/2005 9:01:47 AM PST by PAR35
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To: johnmilken
step back from all the 'mundane' posts and just boggle at the enormity of everything

The science writing media usually doesn't tell the whole story, for whatever reason. The universe is, according to the current BB theory, 1050 times bigger than what the Hubble can see. Don't know if that changes anything in our own worldview. It's like picking out one grain of sand in the entire planet earth and that is all Hubble can see. That's us, insignificant even on terms of a single grain of sand.

31 posted on 03/21/2005 9:23:20 AM PST by RightWhale (Please correct if cosmic balance requires.)
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To: RightWhale
That's us, insignificant even on terms of a single grain of sand.

"So, can we have your liver?" -- Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

32 posted on 03/21/2005 10:48:11 AM PST by longshadow
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To: longshadow

Yeah. It's in surprisingly good shape. Just so that Michael Schiavo doesn't get to decide when.


33 posted on 03/21/2005 10:52:23 AM PST by RightWhale (Please correct if cosmic balance requires.)
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To: VadeRetro
I've got a working CP/M computer (Osborne 1) now. But I'd have to clean the mouse nests out of it and the NEC Spinwriter I used with it before bringing them up from the basement.

Egads! Flashback time! Worked with both of those puppies back in the Pleistocene age of computing. Before that the real fun was patch-cord programming one of these beasties:


34 posted on 03/21/2005 1:08:35 PM PST by IonImplantGuru (Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerunt. (May they perish who have expressed our bright ideas before us)
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To: IonImplantGuru
Once out of school, I never had too much to do with cards except for the once-ubiquitous IBM O29 card punch and the batch card reader that was featured on the PDP-11/45 at my first programming job in 1976. That mainframes-timeshare-and-batch-jobs mentality persisted a long time but my career quickly went in other directions.
35 posted on 03/21/2005 2:33:47 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: VadeRetro
...much to do with cards except for the once-ubiquitous IBM O29 card punch and the batch card reader that was featured on the PDP-11/45 at my first programming job in 1976. That mainframes-timeshare-and-batch-jobs mentality persisted a long time but...

Yeppers! Remember that very well; I took a FORTRAN course in the mid-70s (at San Jose State) and that was the standard deal: get a programming assignment, type up your keypunch cards (and pray you made no typos), submit the deck to IT for a batch job sometime during the night, come back the next day and hope everything worked.

36 posted on 03/21/2005 3:35:00 PM PST by IonImplantGuru (Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerunt. (May they perish who have expressed our bright ideas before us)
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To: VadeRetro
the once-ubiquitous IBM O29 card punch and the batch card reader.....

Brrrrrrrap-braappp-brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrappppp very-long-and-scary-pause brrrrrrrrrrap-brap-brrrrrrrrrrrrrrap!

"Syntax error in line 110"

;-)

37 posted on 03/21/2005 4:42:21 PM PST by longshadow
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To: longshadow

This thread is a surprise. The fish evolution thread I also posted this morning, which I assumed would go nowhere because fish just aren't a juicy topic, has twice as many posts. Not that either thread has all that many. But I thought cosmology would be more popular than fish. Some days it just doesn't work out.


38 posted on 03/21/2005 5:39:56 PM PST by PatrickHenry (<-- Click on my name. The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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To: longshadow
"Syntax error in line 110"

They'll tax ANYthing!

39 posted on 03/21/2005 7:05:57 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: Verginius Rufus
This puts a new spin on the old liberal slogan "better red than dead." You can be both.

Someone better point this fact out to the Dems, though...

Excellent pun!

40 posted on 03/21/2005 8:43:36 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: VadeRetro
I've got a working CP/M computer (Osborne 1) now.

I've got a Kaypro4 with dual disk drive..
Problem is, I've got to find 5 1/4" disks, (360K) and a CP/M operating system..

41 posted on 03/22/2005 2:45:31 PM PST by Drammach (Freedom; not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: Drammach
I'd make you some copies but my Osborne disks won't help you. Osborne was CP/M but they had their own goofy proprietary disk format overlaying it.
42 posted on 03/23/2005 4:49:37 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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