Scientists, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), have discovered the most distant dusty star forming galaxy and reckoned to be about 13 billion light-years away, which means the galaxy could have formed just 970 million years after the big bang.
Though there have been other galaxies that were found at similar distances, this galaxy could offer insights about the earliest days of the cosmos after the big bang event as such monstrous galaxies containing huge amounts of gas and dust are not expected to have formed so early on in the history of the universe and astronomers believe these galaxies would have a pivotal role in shaping the evolution of the universe.
The research that was published in The Astrophysical Journal mentioned the difficulty of such galaxies forming within the first 970 million years from the birth of the cosmos and mentioned such timescales are a mere blip compared to the age of the universe.
This galaxy was first detected by the Max Planck Millimeter BOlometer (MAMBO) however due to its resolution and sensitivity, scientists were not able to calculate the exact distance however the survey done by ALMA was able to pinpoint the distance to this elusive galaxy.
They also reported that when they measured the mass of the gas and dust, they found that it was 10 times more than our own Milky Way galaxy which means much of the stars are yet to be born from our vantage point.
As looking far out into the void means looking back in time, it means that we are actually seeing the galaxy as it was when the galaxy emitted its first light after its formation. The study revealed a vast cloud of clouds that would someday yield stars which would be able to observe in our future.
Caitlin Casey, a researcher in the study that was published, told CNN that as dust is a byproduct of dying stars, we expect 100 times more stars than dust however the galaxy has not yet produced those many stars to account for so much of the dust formation.
‘Studying more about the galaxy would reveal more insights as to how these massive dusty galaxies could have formed early on in the universe.’