The Building Blocks of the Grand Spirals

Article written: 10 Jan , 2008
Updated: 26 Dec , 2015

We live in a beautiful grand spiral galaxy. But how did we get from the primordial elements after the Big Bang to the intricate and complex structure we live in today? Astronomers have found some of the earliest galactic building blocks; the ancestors of galaxies like our own Milky Way.

The discovery was made by researchers from Rutgers and Penn State universities, and announced at the 211th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas.

These newly discovered galaxies are tiny, between one-tenth and one-twentieth the mass of the Milky Way. From ground-based telescopes, they just look like individual stars. But the powerful gaze of the Hubble Space Telescope reveals them as regions of active star formation.

The researchers learned that these galaxies are hotbeds of star formation, blazing in a telltale spectrum of ultraviolet radiation that just screams, “I’ve got stellar nurseries”. In many cases, more than 10 of these proto-galaxies came together to form a single spiral galaxy.

“The Hubble Space Telescope delivered striking images of these early galaxies, with 10 times the resolution of ground-based telescopes,” said Caryl Gronwall, a senior research associate in Penn State’s Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics. “They come in a variety of shapes – round, oblong , and even somewhat linear – and we’re starting to make precise measurements of their sizes.”

The galaxies were discovered as part of a five-year census of galaxies in the early Universe. The astronomers searched for these specific kinds of galaxies by detecting the ultraviolet radiation from their bursts of star formation. They then performed follow up observations to find their distance and mass.

Original Source: Rutgers News Release

6 Responses

  1. Jordi says

    A small question:

    Long intrigues me know where I can find information on galaxies that rotate in one direction and they do another, as if there is some work on their distribution.

  2. Simple:- Start with and eternal universe, infinite in time and boundless space. We have a star. It has planets one after the other and from its birth to its death, it has radiated its mass away as subatomic particles – the potential material for more stars. As it loses mass it loses gravity and its planets, ever so slowly spiral away in direct proportion to the loss of mass/gravity. The planets survive safely in a space kept clear of gas and dust by solar wind, but after many billions of years, they reach a point of no return and they tangentially drift away into space that contains dust and gases that it collects and adds to its atmosphere. This addition adds to the original total gravity/mass and expands until it becomes a nebula. Eventually, it reaches a point when the planet liquifies, but the pressure later becomes so great that it explodes compressing the gas and dust immediately above it. That implodes, leaving a clear space for a greater collapse upon the centre. Get the picture? a spiral with arms will be the result with everything drifting away from everything else – or almost. But it looks a bit like a catherine wheel anyway.

    A galaxy could start off in a clear area of space from the creation of one star. Our sun has to be billions of years older than Science says it is and it may have already released several planets that, say 3 billion years apart are building their nebulae right now.

    No, the Establishment won’t have it because it destroys Big Bang. But when you look at the overall picture of observable space where 13 billion light years away there are galaxies, supposedly the oldest in the universe, ‘remarkably like our own’, the concept of a beginning some 7 million years before that is utter nonsense. Yet has anyone said where these galaxies are now, (expansion over the intervening 13 billion years their light has taken to reach us) or where their globally shining light is shining away to beyond them? Obviously beyond the Establishment’s perceived containment distance that presents the universe with its boundary.

    I believe that the universe is eternal but its contents are in a constant state of creation – nothing lost, nothing gained. There are forces that push it apart and forces that bring it together, so how can it be in a state of evolutionary expansion from singularity and then contraction back to that state?

    I don’t think that anything I’m saying here is magic, since action follows action and reaction follows reaction, all within the laws of physics. – But singularity? Rapid expansion? containment within a beyond that is no space? a time in the future when it will all hurtle back again to a singularity? That’s magic.

  3. Kevin says

    And i thought the Creationists were a little whacko!!!

  4. Emil says

    “No, the Establishment won’t have it because it destroys Big Bangâ€?

    — I’m all for individuals thinking for themselves, but IMO the scientific method has no commitment to marriage with a specific theory. Hence, I assume, the Establishment would giggly, excitedly like a little girl, give up the Big Bang in a blink. All that is required from David to make his revolution is to fill in few details, like:
    – why there is a background radiation;
    – why it is at the microwave frequency predicted before it was discovered;
    – what is wrong with the astrophysics that accurately predicts both evolution and lifespan of the stars, so it can tell that a particular star belongs to what generation;
    – what is wrong with independent methods that measured the age of our Sun shorter that David’s; and
    – why there is abundance of elements as it is.

    (To name a few first ones that came to my astro-cosmologically-layman’s mind.)

    P.S. http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=4721

  5. RUF says

    About the pic of M74 above:

    Is it the filters and exposures, or does it look remarkably “white”? No golden stars, or blue or red stars, just white.

    Are all the stars near the same age and composistion, with no active star forming regions?

  6. In reply to Emil,
    Background radiation. Red shift indicates to me that after about 13 billion light years, even the red vanishes and we are left with an invisible radiation. Galaxies beyond the 13.7 bly will therefore be invisible to us, but their invisible radiation will be streaming in to our sector of the universe. Since Science has claimed that nothing existed beyond the 13.7 bly limit, background radiation had no source that fitted their scenario.

    Looking at that one claim, ie, that the universe must be 13.7 billion years old, what exists in it had to be fitted into that time frame. The perceived age of our sun, was forced to fit with an extremely rapid beginning, where galaxies were up and running within the first billion years. Imagine the acceleration involved, where planets (and they have also been reported as existing in the first galaxies), hurtling around their stars faster than a normally accepted angular momentum. By the way, do those ‘first’ galaxies reveal a greater speed of action?

    Stretching physics in order to make things fit surely can’t be good science.

    On my website I give reference to a report where researchers say that stars have to be over 100 times larger than the sun to form.

    So that explains the content problem. Our sun would have had the capacity to create all the elements known; and Professor Manuel, who claimed that the sun is made of iron, may well be right, but without it necessarily dropping in from a supernovae. The professor’s claim may go even further with the iron floating on the top of heavier metals beneath. Who knows, we can’t see through it, can we. Perhaps ‘There’s gold in them thar hot box’.

    ‘Evolution is the thrust of creation’, is my interpretation of how I see the recycling activity of the universe. It’ s stability is demonstrated by its continuity. Years ago, early 1970s, I called my theories, ‘Genesis Continuous’ to give title to that concept.

    Cosmology is a science based on theory and Science should make it clear to the public that what may be interpreted as fact, may have no basic truth. My work is also theory, because I too have to rely on what may or may not be true. If Emil and others would like to see my coverage of most of what they question, please go to my website. Or go to Google and type in “origin solar system”.

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