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Astronomers Find Farthest Known Galaxies
Space.com on Yahoo ^ | 7/10/07 | Robert Roy Britt

Posted on 07/10/2007 2:52:26 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

Astronomers have found evidence for the most distant galaxies ever detected.

The galaxies are seen as they existed just 500 million years after the birth of the universe. Their light, traversing the cosmos for more than 13 billion years, was seen only because it was distorted in a natural "gravitational lens" created by the gravity-bending mass of a nearer cluster of galaxies.

"Gravitational lensing is the magnification of distant sources by foreground structures," explained Caltech astronomer Richard Ellis, who led the international team. "By looking through carefully selected clusters, we have located six star-forming galaxies seen at unprecedented distances, corresponding to a time when the universe was only 500 million years old, or less than 4 percent of its present age."

The universe is estimated to be 13.7 billion years old, so that puts the newfound galaxies at 13.2 billion light-years away. A light-year is the distance light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).

Tricky technique

The team found the galaxies using the 10-meter Keck II telescope atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. The finding will be presented tomorrow at a conference of the Geological Society in London.

The light from the half-dozen faraway star-forming galaxies was boosted about 20 times by the magnifying effect of the foreground galaxy cluster, said team member Dan Stark, a Caltech graduate student.

Gravitational lensing is tricky, the researchers admit. To bolster their case, they point to very ancient galaxies that are just slightly closer, yet which already contain old stars.

"To produce these old stars requires significant earlier activity, most likely in the fainter star-forming galaxies we have now seen," Stark said.

End of the Dark Ages

The galaxies offer a glimpse of an era shortly after the first stars formed.

After the theoretical Big Bang, there were no stars. Eventually, a thick "fog" was effectively burned off by hot, young stars, ending what's called the cosmic Dark Ages.

"That we should find so many distant galaxies in our small survey area suggests they are very numerous indeed," Stark said. "We estimate the combined radiation output of this population could be sufficient to break apart (ionize) the hydrogen atoms in space at that time, thereby ending the Dark Ages."


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Hawaii; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: astronomers; farthest; galaxies

A gravitational lens is a massive object, such as a cluster of galaxies, that magnifies light from galaxies that are farther away and which would otherwise not be observable. Credit: Caltech


1 posted on 07/10/2007 2:52:27 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

If they were “known” galaxies why were they looking for them?


2 posted on 07/10/2007 2:55:00 PM PDT by Mikey_1962 (The last Americans to allow unchecked immigration...... were Native.)
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W. M. Keck Observatory

Astronomers Claim to Find Most Distant Known Galaxies
http://www.keckobservatory.org/article.php?id=110


3 posted on 07/10/2007 2:56:08 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... For want of a few good men, a once great nation was lost.)
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To: Mikey_1962

LOL. Then too how many galaxies do they know about still that haven’t been found. ;-)


4 posted on 07/10/2007 2:57:45 PM PDT by HoustonTech
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To: NormsRevenge

Wonder how they ‘evolved’?


5 posted on 07/10/2007 2:58:19 PM PDT by ex-snook ("But above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: NormsRevenge

did they find K-PAX?


6 posted on 07/10/2007 2:59:21 PM PDT by jrd
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To: NormsRevenge
Astronomers Claim to Find Most Distant Known Galaxies

Let them find some unknown galaxies. Now that would be impressive.

7 posted on 07/10/2007 2:59:32 PM PDT by HoustonTech
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To: NormsRevenge

I like Galaxies. Here's a '63 convertible.

8 posted on 07/10/2007 3:09:48 PM PDT by SIDENET (RUH-ROH)
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To: NormsRevenge

Someone on another board asked something I’m not sure what the answer to is, so I’ll let some of you take a stab at it:

To paraphrase the question:

- matter can’t travel faster than light
- there was no matter/light/galaxies before the big bang
so how can we have all the matter for a Milky way galaxy get so far away from an ‘original’ galaxy’ in time for that matter to form the Milky way and earth in time for humans here to still see the light from that galaxy so near to the big bang?


9 posted on 07/10/2007 3:14:59 PM PDT by Grig
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To: ex-snook
After the theoretical Big Bang, there were no stars. Eventually, a thick "fog" was effectively burned off by hot, young stars, ending what's called the cosmic Dark Ages.

2 Now the earth was [a] formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.

10 posted on 07/10/2007 3:22:09 PM PDT by frithguild (The Freepers moved as a group, like a school of sharks sweeping toward an unaware and unarmed victim)
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To: Grig
Dum-da-dum-dum.

ML/NJ

11 posted on 07/10/2007 3:29:44 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: frithguild

Creating something from nothing in a big bang was quite a feat. Wonder when the sound of that big bang will arrive. Thar sure was a lot of creatin goin on out thar.


12 posted on 07/10/2007 3:33:49 PM PDT by ex-snook ("But above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: SIDENET
The Limousine-Leftist Pussbag Galaxy:


13 posted on 07/10/2007 3:37:23 PM PDT by quark
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To: upier

megaping!


14 posted on 07/10/2007 3:54:19 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Grig
Someone on another board asked something I’m not sure what the answer to is, so I’ll let some of you take a stab at it:

To paraphrase the question:

  • matter can’t travel faster than light
  • there was no matter/light/galaxies before the big bang
so how can we have all the matter for a Milky way galaxy get so far away from an ‘original’ galaxy’ in time for that matter to form the Milky way and earth in time for humans here to still see the light from that galaxy so near to the big bang?

Space got bigger.

15 posted on 07/10/2007 3:54:43 PM PDT by Vroomfondel
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To: Grig
It's far worse than that. Alan Guth's Inflation phase enlarged space so much that we see only 10-9 of the actual universe radius inside the Hubble radius.
16 posted on 07/10/2007 4:00:50 PM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: Grig

Because galaxies ‘ride’ on space. And space has expanded since the BB. The speed of light does not limit the speed of universal expansion.


17 posted on 07/10/2007 4:07:19 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: ex-snook

You can’t hear sound in space, else the noise of the sun would be a constant distraction. The fireball of the BB is all around us, though. It’s the background microwave radiation.


18 posted on 07/10/2007 4:08:56 PM PDT by gcruse
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To: NormsRevenge

Just part of the evil astronomers plot to turn people away from biblical truth.

We know the universe is about 6000 years old. All fields that believe contrary to this should not be taught in public schools unless the alternative (and only one alternative) is taught alongside it. (/ sarc added for the sarcasm challenged.)


19 posted on 07/10/2007 4:12:54 PM PDT by Dinsdale
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To: gcruse

thanks,


20 posted on 07/10/2007 4:39:39 PM PDT by ex-snook ("But above all things, truth beareth away the victory.")
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To: Vroomfondel

“Space got bigger.”

Whew, I’m glad it didn’t only happen to me then. :)


21 posted on 07/10/2007 7:17:35 PM PDT by Grig
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To: gcruse
The speed of light does not limit the speed of universal expansion.

So does that mean that matter that "rides" on space is not subject to the speed of light and thus has traveled faster than the speed of light to get that distance from our galaxy? And that universal expansion exceeds light speed? And how long until that matter slows down to "under" light speed?

Doesn't this explanation imply that there is a possibility these galaxies are now as much as 26 billion light years away and we are seeing the light from where they were 13 billion years ago?

22 posted on 07/11/2007 8:47:46 AM PDT by AbeKrieger (1) Border security first. 2) Repeat until #1 complete, then resume discussion.)
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To: AbeKrieger

“So does that mean that matter that “rides” on space is not subject to the speed of light and thus has traveled faster than the speed of light to get that distance from our galaxy”

Maybe I should said “sits” on space rather than “rides” on space. A galaxy outside our local group that is not gravitationally bound to us sits on a piece of space that is moving away from us because of universal expansion.

Space is expanding between us. Neither of us is moving at faster than light speed, but the distance between us could grow, I suppose, at a rate faster than light travels if the distance increase is because of expansion. The individual galaxy is bound internally and possibly locally by gravitational forces keeping its constituents together.


23 posted on 07/11/2007 9:02:39 AM PDT by gcruse (Let's strike Iran while it's hot.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Astronomers have found evidence for the most distant galaxies ever detected.

I'm guessing English 101 isn't what it used to be...

24 posted on 07/11/2007 9:56:12 AM PDT by Inquisitive1 (I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance - Socrates)
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