Newest observations by the immensely powerful Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have revealed that a highly concentrated cluster of massive galaxies that underwent energetic star formation during the initial days of the universe has been found to be embedded in dark matter.

Observations by ALMA are also suggesting that the universe is home to a web of dark matter and a giant 3D structure threads through most of the galaxies and clusters of galaxies. It’s true that the dark matter cannot be seen directly (this is because it doesn’t interact with light), but the gravitational influence of dark matter can be experienced on space-time. Now, we are also aware of the fact that 85% of matters housed by the cosmos are actually dark matter.

For appreciating the structure of the modern universe and the changes it has undergone in a better way, we must comprehend how galaxy formation following the Big Bang has been influenced by the dark matter web.

As a result, scientists believe that sighting of galaxies creating new stars in quick succession embedded in passages of dark matter around 11.5 billion years ago might aid the process of understanding the reasons behind the abolition of all those earlier massive galaxies from the modern universe. According to them, this kind of discoveries will also help them to know how the monstrous elliptical galaxies of today game into being.

To date, the process of observing those early galaxies was extremely complicated. This is because those galaxies are home to huge quantities of obscuring dust. Also, it’s also extremely difficult to pin down the exaction location of those galaxies using Radio telescopes.

Must Read: Dark matter is home to concentrated clusters of galaxies

However, ALMA made the observations possible as those early galaxies are known for triggering an extremely high flux of sub-millimeter emissions, a frequency band to which ALMA is highly sensitive.

Astronomers measured the distances between nine monstrous galaxies in SSA22, a tiny patch of the sky housed by constellation Aquarius. This process allowed them to compare the locations of those galaxies with the assistance of observations made by the Atacama Telescope and the Subaru Telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The region was surveyed by Subaru and ASTE, which allowed astronomers to derive the galaxy cluster’s general shape.

SOURCEInstitute of Physics


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