Madrid, 14 (European press)
The cluster was named “HPC1001” and was discovered by Nikolaj Selassen, a master’s student at DTU Space (Denmark University of Technology) and a member of the Cosmic Dawn Center (DAWN), a collaboration between the Niels Bohr Institute and DTU Space.
“Clusters of galaxies early in the history of the universe are very rare. Only two of them have been found so far. Our discovery is interesting not only because HPC1001 is one of the most distant groups, but also because it is the most compact galaxies identified so far in our universe,” explains Shuowen. Jin, one of Sillassen’s collaborators.
While some galaxies are actively forming stars, others suddenly stop forming new stars. One of the main goals of the Cosmic Dawn Center is to investigate the causes and evolution of this stage.
Also in this context, HPC1001 has proven to be a treasure chest: “Surprisingly, the most massive galaxy member in this structure is ‘dying’: its star-forming activity is declining,” says Georgios Magdis, associate professor at DAWN and study co-author.
“This is an important indicator of the evolution of megastructures, and if confirmed, HPC1001 would be the first structure discovered in its maturation stage.”
The distance and “back time” to HPC1001 is determined by a somewhat uncertain technique based on the observed colors of individual galaxies. To confirm their measurements, astronomers will follow up their discovery with more precise spectroscopic observations.
These future observations, obtained from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile and the Northern Millimeter Extended Array in France, as well as other astronomical facilities, will reveal the full nature of this structure, including whether HPC1001 will remain a small group or eventually evolve into A huge collection of up to 1000 galaxies.
The results have been accepted for publication in the Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
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