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The most ancient spiral galaxy confirmed

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:26 pm

The most ancient spiral galaxy discovered to date is revealing its secrets to a team of astronomers at Swinburne University of Technology and The Australian National University (ANU), part of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in All Sky Astrophysics in 3-D (ASTRO 3-D).

The galaxy, known as A1689B11, existed 11 billion years in the past, just 2.6 billion years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only one fifth of its present age. It is thus the most ancient spiral galaxy discovered so far.

The researchers used a powerful technique that combines gravitational lensing with the cutting-edge instrument the Near-infrared Integral Field Spectrograph (NIFS) on the Gemini North telescope in Hawai'i to verify the vintage and spiral nature of this galaxy. NIFS is Australia's first Gemini instrument that was designed and built by the late Peter McGregor at The ANU.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:29 pm

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Credit: James Josephides

Spiral galaxy A1689B11 sits behind a massive cluster of galaxies that acts as a lens, producing two magnified images of the spiral galaxy in different positions in the sky.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:31 pm



NASA previously thought the universe's oldest dead galaxies were ellipticals, but this discovery is evidence of galactic evolution.

 
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