Astronomers Discover Massive Ancient Galaxies

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, Aug. 8 (Jiji Press)--An international team of astronomers, including from the University of Tokyo and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, have discovered 39 massive galaxies thought to have been actively forming stars over 11 billion years ago.

The 39 galaxies are believed to be the ancestors of massive elliptical galaxies existing now. The discovery is expected to reveal hitherto unknown facts about how the universe and galaxies were formed.

The discovery was published in the online edition of the British science journal Nature on Thursday.

The team, including Kotaro Kono, professor at the Japanese university, and NAOJ researcher Tao Wang, discovered the galaxies using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile.

The astronomers initially discovered 63 objects using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope that were undetected by the Hubble Space Telescope.

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