comScore Planck and Herschel Discover Four Galaxy Clusters | The Mary Sue

Four Super Ancient Galaxy Clusters Have Been Found Hanging Out Billions of Light-Years Away

In galaxies far, far away...


Three (false) color Herschel images of the clumps identified by Planck. Blue, green and red represent infrared light at successively longer wavelengths, of 250μm, 350μm and 500μm respectively. The green circle indicates the size of the Planck beam at the position of the source, which Herschel was able to resolve in far greater detail. Credit: D. Clements / ESA / NASA.

By combining the data from the Planck and Herschel satellites, four super old galaxies clusters were recently discovered, and by super old, we mean 10 billion light-years away.  They’re galaxy clusters, which means that they’re a massive cloud of other galaxies.  Fun fact, we’re looking at these clusters as they existed billions of years ago giving us more insight into how these galaxies came to be.

Dr. David Clements, the lead researcher at Imperial College London from the Physic’s Department stated:

“What we believe we are seeing in these distant clusters are giant elliptical galaxies in the process of being formed.”

We’re able to see these galaxy clusters because they’re currently producing stars (or were, 10 billion years ago) and as one might imagine star-making throws off a lot of light and energy capable of reaching Earth and our satellites. By using both telescopes and combining data Clements believes as many as 2,000 new galaxy clusters can be formed.

To get a much more detailed look at the science you can read a copy of Clements’ paper here.

(Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society via, Image via Dr. David Clements/ESA/NASA)

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