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Discover water in one of the oldest galaxies in the universe

Discover water in one of the oldest galaxies in the universe

MA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) / S. Dagnello (NRAO)

Astronomers were in one of the oldest known galaxies water traces They discovered and thus proved for the first time that life-giving matter was when the first stars were formed played a role.

Galaxy named SPT0311-58 It is about 12.88 billion light-years away from Earth. This allows you to see it with telescopes as it appeared only a billion years after the Big Bang. Scientists estimate that only the galaxy 780 million years It is an age when stars are forming at a much faster rate than more mature galaxies.

Traces of water (in blue) in one of the most distant galaxies prove that life-giving fluid has existed since the early stages of the universe’s evolution.

This observation has been dated, and is the oldest evidence of water in the universe Atacama Large Millimeter/Meter Matrix (ALMA) made. It is a powerful radio telescope consisting of 66 radio antennas located in the north Chili’s In the Atacama Desert.

Carbon monoxide is also present

“With ALMA’s high-resolution observations of molecular gas in a pair of galaxies known as SPT0311-58, we have both Also carbon monoxide molecules Discovered in the two largest galaxies Srivani Garugula, an astronomer at the University of Illinois and senior researcher at New study, in the current situation. “In particular, oxygen and carbon are two of the elements first generation, and in the molecular forms of carbon monoxide and water, they are essential to life as we know it.”

SPT0311-58, discovered by ALMA in 2017, is The largest galaxy currently known This era is actually made up of two galaxies as well Merge seem. It has more gas and dust than nearby, more mature galaxies, the scientists said in the statement. “SPT0311-58 gives us many opportunities to observe abundant molecules and to better understand how these life-creating elements affected the evolution of the early universe,” Garagoula continues.

How such a large amount of gas and dust accumulated in this young universe to form the first stars and early galaxies remains a mystery to astronomers. Water is the third most abundant molecule in the universe after hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

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