Skip to comments.Mystery Behind Gigantic Space Blob Revealed (Images and Videos)
Posted on 08/18/2011 1:30:33 AM PDT by lbryce
The mystery behind the power source of the giant "Lyman-alpha blob," one of the largest single objects known in the universe, has finally been revealed by astronomers at the European Southern Observatory. Observations from ESO's Very Large Telescope have led to the conclusion that rare vast cloud of glowing gas from the earliest days of the universe must be powered by galaxies embedded within it. The results appear in the Aug. 18 issue of the journal Nature.
Lyman-alpha blobs are huge gaseous structures emitting Lyman-alpha frequency light. Some of these are more than 400,000 light years across in size. The ESO team found that the light coming from one of these blobs is polarized. This is the first time that polarization has ever been found in a Lyman-alpha blob, and this observation will help unlock the mystery of how the blobs shine.
"We have shown for the first time that the glow of this enigmatic object is scattered light from brilliant galaxies hidden within, rather than the gas throughout the cloud itself shining." explains Matthew Hayes of the University of Toulouse in France, lead author of the paper.
The team studied one of the first and brightest of these blobs LAB-1, discovered in 2000, which is so far away that its light takes about 11.5 billion years to reach earth. With a diameter of about 300,000 light years it is also one of the largest known, and has several primordial galaxies inside it, including an active galaxy.
(Excerpt) Read more at ibtimes.com ...
Cool pics, btw.
No comment; just a ping.
Yes, it’s all coming together now. I remember reading that she was in negotiations to do a pilot for LOGO,the gay channel, DYKES IN SPACE.
I thought I saw this thing originate on MSNBC the other night, right after the word “jobs.”
I thought it was the Rebels blowing up another darn Death Star...