Water has been discovered in a distant galaxy

In a very distant and ancient galaxy, water and carbon monoxide have been discovered. This allows more insights into the early universe.

The basics in brief

  • Scientists have discovered water molecules in a very distant galaxy.
  • It is the first evidence of water being very far and ancient.
  • Further research is being conducted on the galaxy under study due to its mass and distance.

In a distant galaxy, researchers were able to detect water and carbon monoxide. Scientists from the University of Illinois, under the direction of Srivani Garugula, examined galaxy SPT0311-58 with so-called ALMA telescopes in Chile.

SPT0311-58 is the biggest far away The galaxy is known to us. And now the oldest and most distant waters in it have been confirmed. The cosmic body consists of a pair of galaxies and was discovered in 2017.

Ancient Galaxy: What Molecules Are There?

The two form the largest regular star-forming galaxy known in astronomy. 12.88 billion light years from our country Earth far they produce stars About 1,000 times faster than our Milky Way.

The galaxy dates back to the time when the universe was only 780 million years old. That’s only about five percent of his current age. This time is called “reionization”. SPT0311-58 contains more star dust and gas than most other galaxies in the universe.

powerful radio telescope ALMA molecular assay. This gave American researchers insight into the materials that already existed shortly after the formation of the first elements.

Infrared signature water

In the two largest galaxies, scientists were able to detect molecules of carbon monoxide and water. These particles are the second and third most common particles in the early universe.

Molecules can be measured using radio wave spectra. This works as follows: New stars Harsh ultraviolet light is emitted into the galaxy. Galactic dust absorbs this light and emits infrared photons that excite the electromagnetic field around the particles.

Since the galaxy is very old, the absorption lines shift more strongly to the red region. This is also the case with SPT0311-58. The properties of the particles then appear in the radiation spectrum on the ALMA images. The researchers came across many water molecules.

SPT0311-58 raises more questions

Since this pair of galaxies contains a lot of star dust and gas, it is ideal for research. The study Not only does it give answers about the water in the universe. It also raises the important question, “How did so much dust and water accumulate in the early universe?” Here’s what astronomer Srivani Garugula said in the ALMA issue.

Results Many possible options They were able to study molecules. And in order to better understand how these life-creating elements shape the evolution of the universe, says Jarogula. The study Featured in The Astrophysical Journal.

More on this topic:

Study of Earth’s water stars


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