Astronomers from Swinburne University of Technology and the Australian National University (ANU) have discovered that the spiral galaxy A1689B11 is approximately 11 billion years old.
It is oldest galaxy was discovered, forming only 2.6 billion years after the Big Bang. The research results were published on the online library of Cornell University, USA on October 30.
The research team used an advanced technique combining gravitational lenses with advanced equipment near infrared spectrometer (NIFS) placed on the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii (USA) to determine the characteristics and natural spiral properties of this galaxy. Gravitational lenses are the largest natural telescopes, created by giant galaxy clusters and dark matter. The galaxy cluster bends and amplifies the light from the galaxies behind it like a normal lens, but on a much larger scale.
Tiantian Yuan, research team leader at Swinburne University, said: “This technique allows us to study ancient galaxies at high resolution, capable of revealing previously unseen details. We have the ability to go back 11 billion years and directly witness the formation of the primordial spiral arms of a galaxy. »
Co-author, PhD. Renyue Cen (Princeton University) said that studying ancient spiral galaxies like galaxy A1689B11 is the key to uncovering the mystery of when and how the Hubble Sequence appeared.
spiral galaxy is an extremely rare form in the universe during its formation. The new discovery of A1689B11 will help us understand how galaxies go from a chaotic state to a thin, silent disk like today’s Milky Way.
The research team members also added that the study showed many surprising features of the A1689B11 galaxy, such as a formation speed 20 times faster than that of current galaxies. This is also a characteristic of other young galaxies of the same mass in the early universe. A1689B11 is a thin drive that spins smoothly with little fluctuation. This type of spiral galaxy is extremely rare in the early universe.