Digital News Report – Astronomers have used the Hubble Space Telescope to create a panoramic view of the universe and the youngest galaxies. This is giving scientists an insight into the formation of the universe.
The Milky Way is considered a large galaxy, measuring nearly 600,000 trillion miles across (or 100,000 light years), while some of the younger galaxies are much smaller. Besides spying on these galaxies, Hubble is looking back in time. By the time light reaches earth it may have traveled for hundreds of thousands or millions of years.
At an American Astronomical Society Meeting hosted at the University of California-Santa Cruz, Garth Illingworth described the smaller galaxies. “These are the seeds of later large galaxies like our own,” Illingworth said.
“We’re literally seeing galaxies of all shapes, ages and sizes,” astronomer Rogier Windhorst of Arizona State University in Tempe said.
Besides the Hubble, astronomers are using other telescopes to look into the heavens. Scientists are combining information taken from various locations to map out the universe. With images taken from the Chandra X-ray telescope and NASA’s Spitzer infrared telescope, they are getting a complete picture of the universe and how the galaxies were formed, merged and grew larger.
But there are still mysteries to be solved. Using ultraviolet light, they are trying to figure out how the electrically charged gasses in the smaller galaxies trigger magnetic effects that play a role in large galaxy formation.
By: Sam Lee