Astronomers discover two new galaxies “hidden” behind curtain of dust

The mysteries trapped in the corners of the universe are far more exciting than anyone could ever imagine. With each passing day and month, astronomers find new puzzles and solve them in what is as puzzling as it is delicious. Sometimes astronomers find things in a place they least expect them to be. And that’s exactly what happened with a group of astronomers looking for a simple sample of distant galaxies. Using radio waves, they discovered two “invisible” galaxies hidden behind a curtain of dust near the dawn of the universe. This curtain of dust had hitherto obscured galaxies in their sight. The galaxies have been named REBELS-12-2 and REBELS-29-2 and they are among the most distant known galaxies.

Although their light has traveled 13 billion years to reach Earth, the galaxies are actually much further away than that now – 29 billion light years away. This is because the universe is continually expanding. Astronomers have used the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), which picks up radio waves.

The researchers detailed their discovery in an article published in the Nature newspaper. The study suggests that there were many more galaxies in the early universe than previously thought and raises new questions about our understanding of the universe. Astronomers have calculated that 10-20% of galaxies in the early universe could be hiding behind clouds of dust, waiting to be discovered one day.

Astronomers typically use the Hubble Space Telescope to study cosmic mysteries. Although it has the clearest view in the universe, Hubble cannot see everything as it looks at the sky primarily in the wavelengths of ultraviolet and visible light. This group of astronomers therefore used the ALMA telescope, which operates at wavelengths of 0.32 mm to 3.6 mm.

Pascal Oesch, an author of the study, said they were looking at a group of very distant galaxies with ALMA, and then they noticed that two of them had a neighbor who shouldn’t “be there at all.” These two neighboring galaxies were surrounded by dust that was blocking some of their light and Hubble could not see them.

“We are trying to solve the big puzzle of how the universe is formed and answer the most basic question: ‘Where did all this come from? “,” Oesch said. New Atlas.

Astronomers are now waiting for more powerful instruments to be brought into space so that their work can move forward. One of those power tools is the James Webb Space Telescope, which will specialize in infrared imaging of the cosmos. It is expected to launch towards the end of this year, possibly on December 22.

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