By the use of various radio telescopes throughout the world, a group of astronomers from the Cosmic Dawn Center, Copenhagen, have found several galaxies in the early universe that, because of a large amount of dust, were protected from our sight. The results enabled the team to measure the temperature and thickness of the dust, explaining that this type of galaxy provided significantly to the whole star formation when the universe was just 1/10 of its present age.

Assessing the rate at which stars are created in galaxies throughout cosmic time is one of the basic ways that astronomers depict the properties and the evolution of galaxies.

Yet, the stars that were created, in turn, tend to produce dust – particles made up of heavy elements like carbon, silicon, oxygen, and iron. The dust seems to be thick clouds in the space between the stars, probably hiding the stars totally from our eyes.

This makes it hard for us to get a survey of the star formation rate, particularly in young, “starburst” galaxies, where the dust does not have the time to scatter far from the compact sites of star formation.
A group of astronomers directed by Shuowen Jin, Marie Curie postdoc fellow at the Cosmic Dawn Center, and comprising several other DAWNers, thus agreed to take a look at the earlier universe at even longer wavelengths, through the radio/microwave antennae at two of the world’s biggest radio observatories. They are the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile and the Northern Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA) in France.

Jointly with studies of the same field on the sky developed with other radio telescopes, Jin’s observations indicated a population of compact starburst galaxies masked in extremely thick dust clouds.

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Alice is the Chief Editor with relevant experience of three years, Alice has founded Galaxy Reporters. She has a keen interest in the field of science. She is the pillar behind the in-depth coverages of Science news. She has written several papers and high-level documentation.


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