Signs Of WATER Are Detected In A Galaxy 12.88 Billion Light-...| MENAFN.COM

Wednesday, 29 March 2023 04:47 GMT

Signs Of WATER Are Detected In A Galaxy 12.88 Billion Light-Years From Earth

(MENAFN- Khaama Press)

Scientists detected water along with carbon monoxide in SPT0311-58 - made up of two galaxies - located nearly 12.88 billion light-years from Earth.

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign astronomers found evidence of the water molecules, made of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, in the ancient galaxy.

It is 12.8 billion light-years from Earth, meaning the light we are seeing is from 12.8 billion years in the past, during a time known as the Epoch of Reionization.

This epoch occurred at a time when the universe was just five percent of its current age when the first stars and galaxies were being born.

The research is published in The Astrophysical Journal.

“Using high-resolution ALMA observations of molecular gas in the pair of galaxies known collectively as SPT0311-58 we detected both water and carbon monoxide molecules in the larger of the two galaxies. Oxygen and carbon, in particular, are first-generation elements, and in the molecular forms of carbon monoxide and water, they are critical to life as we know it,” said Sreevani Jarugula, an astronomer at the University of Illinois and the principal investigator on the new research.

“This galaxy is the most massive galaxy currently known at high redshift, or the time when the Universe was still very young. It has more gas and dust compared to other galaxies in the early Universe, which gives us plenty of potential opportunities to observe abundant molecules and to better understand how these life-creating elements impacted the development of the early Universe,” Jarugula added.

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