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TOPIC: Distant Galaxies


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Astronomers search the dark hearts of bright galaxies
Astronomers have probed the physical conditions in the active inner regions of a number of Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies (ULIRGs), with the help of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT).
ULIRGs are characterized by an enormous energy output, which is totally hidden from view for optical telescopes by massive gas and dust clouds inside these galaxies.
When the universe was much younger, such galaxies were much more common than now, and scientists believe that galaxies of this type have played a key role in shaping the present-day universe.

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Scientists see flow of gas from a quasar
U.S. astronomers say a bit of serendipity has given them a surprise view of a never-before-observed event that occurs during the birth of a galaxy.
University of Florida and University of California-Santa Cruz astronomers said they are the first to see the onset of a huge flow of gas from a quasar, expelled sometime in the space of four years around 10 billion years ago.
The brief event was discovered by undergraduate astronomy student Kyle Kaplan at UC-Santa Cruz.

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A U.S.-led international team of scientists has detected long wavelength radio emissions from a colliding, massive galaxy cluster.
The discovery, which scientists say is not duplicated at shorter wavelengths usually seen in such objects, implies existing radio telescopes have missed a large population of such colliding objects.

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By cleverly unravelling the workings of a natural cosmic lens, astronomers have gained a rare glimpse of the violent assembly of a young galaxy in the early Universe. Their new picture suggests that the galaxy has collided with another, feeding a supermassive black hole and triggering a tremendous burst of star formation.
The astronomers used the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope to look at a galaxy more than 12 billion light-years from Earth, seen as it was when the Universe was only about 15 percent of its current age. Between this galaxy and Earth lies another distant galaxy, so perfectly aligned along the line of sight that its gravity bends the light and radio waves from the farther object into a circle, or "Einstein Ring."

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Astronomers have spotted the most distant, oldest galaxy they've ever seen, using optical tricks both celestial and man-made. While the observation of the galaxy as it existed just two billion years after the Big Bang is scientifically significant in its own right, it also serves as an early peek at what's to come as astronomers adopt a sophisticated technique called adaptive optics to peer much deeper into the night sky.
The team of astronomers, from Caltech and Durham University, in England, announced their findings in the journal Nature last week. Using the Keck telescope in Hawaii, they examined a galaxy 11 billion light-years from Earth. Previously, astronomers had been able to see no farther than seven or eight billion light-years. Because looking across astronomical distances is the equivalent of looking back in time, the observation brings astronomers much closer to the birth of the universe, approximately 13 billion years ago.


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South Pole Telescope team uses new method to discover clusters of galaxies far, far away
Scientists have studied the night sky for thousands of years searching for clues to help them understand the universe. The South Pole Telescope (SPT) team, including Case Western Reserve University professor John Ruhl and graduate student Zachary Staniszewski, achieved a major milestone toward using a new technique to probe the most mysterious component of the universe, dark energy.
Staniszewski is the lead author on the multi-institution collaboration's paper, "Galaxy clusters discovered with a Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect survey," released today in a pre-publication posting on astro-ph, an electronic preprint archive. The paper chronicles the discovery of three galaxy clusters using a new survey technique.

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U.S. and British scientists say they have completed the most detailed study yet of a galaxy in its first stages of development.
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology led the study, joined by researchers from Durham University and Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. They used the Keck telescope in Hawaii to observe a distant galaxy using a technique called gravitational lensing that was proposed by Albert Einstein.
The scientists said light from the galaxy, 11 billion light-years from Earth, was magnified eight times by the gravitational influence of another galaxy 2.2 billion light-years from Earth.

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A Cosmic Eye has given scientists a unique insight into galaxy formation in the very early Universe.
Using gravity from a foreground galaxy as a zoom lens the team was able to see a young star-forming galaxy in the distant Universe as it appeared only two billion years after the Big Bang.

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Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and their colleagues have provided unique insight into the nature of a young star-forming galaxy as it appeared only two billion years after the Big Bang and determined how the galaxy may eventually evolve to become a system like our own Milky Way.

The team made their observations by coupling two techniques, gravitational lensing--which makes use of an effect first predicted by Albert Einstein in which the gravitational field of massive objects, such as foreground galaxies, bends light rays from objects located a distance behind, thus magnifying the appearance of distant sources--and laser-assisted guide star (LGS) adaptive optics (AO) on the 10-meter Keck Telescope in Hawaii. Adaptive optics corrects the blurring effects of Earth's atmosphere by real-time monitoring of the signal from a natural guide star or an artificial guide star.

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Astronomers chart evolution of galaxies
High school students are taught how plants and animals evolve over time, adapting and changing to better suit themselves to their environment.
Scientists peering through the Subaru telescope atop Mauna Kea now say the same thing happens in space, only on a galactic scale, and studying the process could reveal some of the most fundamental mysteries in astronomy.

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