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Astronomers have identified some of the oldest galaxies in the Universe.
The team from the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has found evidence that the faintest satellite galaxies orbiting our own Milky Way galaxy are amongst the very first galaxies that formed in our Universe.
Scientists finding some of the oldest galaxies orbiting the Milky Way is “equivalent to finding the remains of the first humans that inhabited the Earth”.
“Finding some of the very first galaxies that formed in our universe orbiting in the Milky Way’s own backyard is the astronomical equivalent of finding the remains of the first humans that inhabited the Earth,” said Professor Carlos Frenk, director of Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology.
According to their research the galaxies including Segue-1, Bootes I, Tucana II and Ursa Major I are in fact some of the first galaxies ever formed, thought to be over 13 billion years old.
“A nice aspect of this work is that it highlights the complementarity between the predictions of a theoretical model and real data,” said Dr Sownak Bose of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, who led the research.
“A decade ago, the faintest galaxies in the vicinity of the Milky Way would have gone under the radar.
“With the increasing sensitivity of present and future galaxy censuses, a whole new trove of the tiniest galaxies has come into the light, allowing us to test theoretical models in new regimes.”
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