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NASA Telescopes Uncover Early Construction of Giant Galaxy

timothy posted about a month ago | from the after-the-completed-sketches-of-course dept.

Space 25

littlesparkvt (2707383) writes "Astronomers have uncovered for the first time the earliest stages of a massive galaxy forming in the young Universe. The discovery was made possible through combining observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The growing galaxy core is blazing with the light of millions of newborn stars that are forming at a ferocious rate. The paper appears in the journal Nature on 27 August." (Here's the NASA press release.)

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Construction? So you are telling me there is a god (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47771963)

I knew it!

Re:Construction? So you are telling me there is a (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47772089)

my telescoping penis uncovered your mom's labia

Re:Construction? So you are telling me there is a (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about a month ago | (#47772239)

No, that's a "microscope", son.

Re:Construction? So you are telling me there is a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47772971)

ROFL BURN!

Re:Construction? So you are telling me there is a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47773215)

Feeling the burn? It's probably your mom's chlamydia.

Re:Construction? So you are telling me there is a (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a month ago | (#47772221)

The orange cones gave it a way...unless they evolved from dunce-caps or something.

Re:Construction? So you are telling me there is a (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a month ago | (#47772235)

Yes, there is a dog. (They used a reflector scope, it makes a mirror image.)

Re:Construction? So you are telling me there is a (1)

ThaumaTechnician (2701261) | about a month ago | (#47772933)

Naw, it's just a Magrathean project to kick-start the still sluggish economy.

Re:Construction? So you are telling me there is a (1)

Le Marteau (206396) | about a month ago | (#47773987)

Not all of us believe "God" is anthropomorphic. Some of us (e.g. Einstein, who is considered a pantheist) have more expansive definitions.

Alright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47771993)

who forgot to turn off the 3D printer?

Re:Alright (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47772023)

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

What The Fuck?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47772039)

Hello Fellow Redditors!

I'm telling you people, it's coming...

Happy Fedora Day from The Golden Girls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47772125)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Cue tense grammar nazis ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47773001)

The growing galaxy core is blazing with the light of millions of newborn stars that are forming at a ferocious rate.

And, now we'll get a slew of people saying "they're not forming now, they formed a zillion years ago, most of them are probably blown up by now".

And then we'll debate which tense to use, realize English is lacking in a sufficient tense to actually describe this.

There will be some complaining about interpretations of relativity and if this is happening 'now' in our frame of reference or not.

Sphincters will pucker, people will get mired in trying to define the past-future-current imperfect, and someone will blame it on either Obama or the Republicans.

That creepy library poo-eating guy will chime in, and someone will say something offensive about Muslims.

So, seriously people, if you plan on adding comments on any of these topics ... STFU.

Re:Cue tense grammar nazis ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47773189)

So, basically you are opposed to normal conversation and human interaction. I see. Can you tell me more about your relationship with your mother?

Re:Cue tense grammar nazis ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47773619)

So, basically you are opposed to normal conversation and human interaction.

Nothing about Slashdot is "normal" conversation and human interaction. It's varying degrees of compulsive and anti-social behavior.

Can you tell me more about your relationship with your mother?

My mother... I'll tell you about my mother.

Where's the pics? (2)

Cytotoxic (245301) | about a month ago | (#47773029)

You gotta love science infotainment.

The discovery was made possible through combining observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

All of those great imaging systems, but we don't get to see any of the images used? Instead we are given an artist's rendition of a galaxy core forming as the lead image. But where's this extreme redshift galaxy?

For those who care to see something real, NASA did include an image of GOODS-N-744 with labels [slashdot.org] so you could see the fuzzy spot for yourself. I guess you have to wait for the article to be published to see the data from Spitzer and Herschel.

Better article, paper and pictures (4, Informative)

xded (1046894) | about a month ago | (#47773497)

Here's a better article [spacetelescope.org] from ESA which also links to the arXiv copy [arxiv.org] of the paper and an actual image [spacetelescope.org] of the galaxy (full size JPEG [spacetelescope.org] ). (The image at the beginning of TFA is just an illustration, by the way.)

How fast do stars form? (4, Interesting)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about a month ago | (#47773553)

The growing galaxy core is blazing with the light of millions of newborn stars that are forming at a ferocious rate.

In TFA it states that

GOODS-N-774 is producing 300 stars per year. “By comparison, the Milky Way produces thirty times fewer than this — roughly ten stars per year,”

I'm sure I could find it somewhere, or it is really an unanswerable question, but how fast do stars themselves generally form?

Re:How fast do stars form? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47776779)

The initial (basically freefall) collapse of the gas cloud takes on the order of 100 000 years depending on initial density. At that point, the cloud will fragment into many smaller clouds that will form stars and their planetary systems.

All told, the pre-main sequence contraction time is highly dependent on mass. You're looking for example at something on the order of 30 000 years for a star of 60 solar masses, 1 million for 5 solar masses and 40 million for 1 solar mass.

Re:How fast do stars form? (2)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about a month ago | (#47777941)

So when they say it is producing 300 stars per year, they are really saying that they are/have been observing about 300 stars completing that process?
How fine is that line between being "almost a star" and actually being a star? Is there a flash point?

Re:How fast do stars form? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47786239)

I would imagine that, yes, number of stars produced divided by number of years elapsed is the criterion for stars produced per year. ;)

There is a flash point of sorts between a pre-main sequence star and a main sequence star. Proton-proton fusion can only occur above a certain temperature, so the star ignites when the hottest part of the core reaches that temperature. Since temperature is actually an averaged value over all of the particles, there is a slightly more gradual but still "instantaneous" on astronomical timescales increase from "no p-p fusion" to "lots of p-p fusion".

Prior to the main sequence, easier fusion processes (mainly fusion of deuterons and protons) are already possible and the same temperature criterion applies at a lower value--but it isn't considered a true star yet. The energy provided by these pauses collapse in much the same way that p-p fusion prevents a main-sequence star from collapsing under its own gravity.

The ability to initiate p-p fusion is the defining characteristic of a star. If an object is unable to do so because it has not yet contracted sufficiently, it is a protostar. If it is unable to do so because it isn't massive enough, it is something else such as a brown dwarf (which does undergo deuterium burning and possibly lithium burning for a period).

Re:How fast do stars form? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47783209)

"GOODS-N-774 is producing 300 stars per year", shouldn't it be was producing? this is a far galaxy, right?

Quick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47773665)

I hope they get it all on tape before it is over!

But (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47778441)

Did they find a bearded, glowing man in white robes in the vaccinity?

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