Galaxies Not Half-Baked
Infrared image of cluster XMMU J2235.3-2257 taken by Subaru telescope, seen at a distance 65% of the way back to the Big Bang. Green contours represent X-ray intensity measured by the XMM-Newton spacecraft, targeting the brightest galaxy in the cluster.
Just as scientists can't explain "acceleration" of the Universe, the very existence of large galaxies can not be explained. Until recently it was thought that large galaxies started small and got bigger by swallowing smaller ones. Researchers at Liverpool John Moores University cast doubt on the half-baked galaxy idea. Using our Subaru telescope atop Mauna Kea, they have peered back 2/3 of the way to the Big Bang. They found that even at this early time the heaviest galaxies weighed almost as much as today. Their results appear in this week's issue of NATURE. LJMU Press Release.
Each galaxy contains at its centre a massive Black Hole. The Black Holes appear to have formed in the first billion years of the Universe. Evidence may indicate that they are primordial, formed from quantum fluctuations shortly after the Big Bang. Size of a primordial Black Hole is limited by a "horizon distance" within light's reach. Primordial Black Holes were thought to be tiny because of the fixed speed of light. Discovery of massive galaxies containing giant Black Holes is more evidence that c was once much higher.
This weekend see dark skepticism in the Carnival of Space!