Re: Yahoo! News Story - NASA telescopes spot star "factory" - Yahoo! N
- The Baby Boom Galaxy, formally, is J100054_023436 and is located in
Sextans the Sextant.
If I'm reading the declination value correctly as 2N34'35", it's at 1
Mark A. Holmes
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> NASA telescopes spot star "factory" - Yahoo! News
Thu Jul 10, 4:57 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Telescopes looking back in time to more than 12
billion years ago have spotted a star factory -- a galaxy producing so
many new stars that they have nicknamed it the "baby boom" galaxy.
The remote galaxy is -- or was -- pumping out stars at a rate of up to
4,000 per year. In comparison, our own Milky Way galaxy gives birth to
an average of just 10 stars per year, they reported on Wednesday.
"This galaxy is undergoing a major baby boom, producing most of its
stars all at once," said Peter Capak of NASA's Spitzer Science Center
at the California Institute of Technology.
"If our human population was produced in a similar boom, then almost
all of the people alive today would be the same age," Capak said in a
Writing in Astrophysical Journal Letters, Capak and colleagues said
they used several telescopes including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope
and Hubble Space Telescope to spot the prolific ancient galaxy, which
belongs to a class of galaxies called starbursts.
The galaxy is 12.3 billion light-years away. The universe is 13.4
billion years old, so the galaxy was pumping out stars when the
universe was 1.3 billion years old.
A light-year is the distance light travels in one year.
"Before now, we had only seen galaxies form stars like this in the
teenaged universe, but this galaxy is forming when the universe was
only a child," said Capak. "The question now is whether the majority
of the very most massive galaxies form very early in the universe like
the Baby Boom galaxy, or whether this is an exceptional case."
(Reporting by Maggie Fox, editing by Will Dunham and Philip Barbara)