Chandra X-Ray Observatory Discovers Farthest Ever Galaxy

Chandra X-Ray Observatory Discovers Farthest Ever Galaxy

Space is vast and rapidly expanding in every direction. To locate something light years away is impressive. So when NASA announced the discovery of a galaxy cluster 11.1 billion light years away, it was cause for celebration.

Chandra X-Ray Observatory Discovers Farthest Ever Galaxy

A Galaxy, Far Far Away…

Scientists often give complex names to celestial bodies, and this galaxy is no exception. Named CL J1001+0220, it is the largest gravity-bound structure in the universe. NASA confirms that this galaxy was discovered shortly after its birth. Moreover, this galaxy cluster is not only notable for its distance, but also for its unprecedented growth rate. Tao Wang from the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission led the study, which was published in the Astrophysics Journal.

What’s the Big Deal, Anyway

Well, if you haven’t been impressed by this discovery, let’s dig deeper. The study suggests that the galaxy cluster may be transitioning from a forming cluster, or “protocluster,” to a mature one. Astronomers have never found a galaxy cluster at this precise stage.

A cluster of galaxies is a structure that consists of hundreds to thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity. It is the largest known gravitationally bound structure in the universe. One key feature is the intracluster medium (ICM), which consists of heated gas between the galaxies.

Chandra X-Ray Observatory Discovers Farthest Ever Galaxy

Distinguished galaxy clusters in the nearby Universe include the Hercules, Virgo, Fornax, and Coma Clusters. Notable galaxy clusters in the early and distant universe are SPT-CL J2106-5844 and SPT-CL J0546-5345. This discovery pushes back the formation time of galaxy clusters by about 700 million years. The Chandra X-Ray Observatory, named after astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, made this possible.

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More Discoveries, More Studies

This phenomenon is a substantial matter, and it’s undeniable that scientists will be eager to conduct further studies on it. Alexis Finoguenov, the co-author of the study from the University of Helsinki in Finland, expressed, “Studying this object will provide valuable insights into the formation of clusters and their galaxies.” Consequently, scientists will intensify their efforts to discover similar examples. Each new finding contributes to a deeper comprehension of space, galaxies, and life.

Only a Few Drops Discovered

We have discovered and observed very little of the known universe. Some scientists estimate this percentage to be negligible. Although alien life still evades us, these discoveries are substantial.

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