The oldest spiral galaxy discovered

(ORDO NEWS) — The oldest known galaxies formed in just hundreds of millions of years, but our Milky Way took shape only about six billion years after the Big Bang. Such large spiral galaxies are considered one of the most highly organized, and their evolution takes a very long time. However, a new find by scientists from the German Institute for Astronomy of the Max Planck Society makes one doubt this picture.

In an article in Nature magazine , Marcel Neeleman and colleagues report new observations of the distant galaxy DLA0817g, also known as the “Wolfe Disk” – in honor of the large American astrophysicist Arthur Wolfe, who a few years ago together with Nile Man made one of her discoverers. With a redshift of 4.26, DLA0817g formed about one and a half billion years after the Big Bang – more than a billion years earlier than A1689B11 , which was considered the oldest known spiral galaxy.

In fact, new images taken with the VLA, ALMA and Hubble telescopes confirmed that the DLA0817g has a fully formed disk that rotates at about the same speed as the Milky Way – about 272 km / s. However, the size of the galaxy was much smaller. The mass of its scientists estimated only 72 billion solar masses (for comparison, our galaxy is gaining more than a trillion solar masses). But the rate of star formation in it was an order of magnitude higher.

The picture, which opens from such a great distance, shows the DLA0817g as it was 11 billion years ago, and by now the galaxy could well have gained a lot of mass. Nevertheless, it remains too large and structured for that distant time.

It is believed that this requires the formation of a halo of dark matter, in which gas must accumulate and condense until star formation begins. Then the young galaxy has to change several generations of stars, survive mergers and acquisitions with its neighbors, in order to become a massive shining disk in a few billion years. But if the DLA0817g was able to go through the entire evolution in such a short time – maybe something is wrong with this model.

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