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Fri Aug 29, 2014, 09:45 PM

Best View Yet of Merging Galaxies in Distant Universe (NRAO press release)

ALMA, VLA, and other telescopes team-up with cosmic gravitational lens

An international team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) -- among other telescopes -- has obtained the best view yet of a collision between two galaxies when the Universe was only half its current age.

To make this observation, the team also enlisted the help of a gravitational lens, a galaxy-size magnifying glass, to reveal otherwise invisible detail. These new studies of galaxy HATLAS J142935.3-002836 have shown that this complex and distant object looks surprisingly like the comparatively nearby pair of colliding galaxies collectively known as the Antennae.

"While astronomers are often limited by the power of their telescopes, in some cases our ability to see detail is hugely boosted by natural lenses created by the Universe," explains lead author Hugo Messias of the Universidad de Concepción in Chile and the Centro de Astronomia e Astrofísica da Universidade de Lisboa in Portugal. "Einstein predicted in his theory of General Relativity that, given enough mass, light does not travel in a straight line but will be bent in a similar way to a normal lens."

Cosmic lenses are created by massive structures like galaxies and galaxy clusters, which bend light from objects behind them due to their strong gravity -- an effect called gravitational lensing. The magnifying properties of this effect allow astronomers to study objects that would otherwise be invisible and to directly compare local galaxies with much more remote ones, when the Universe was significantly younger.
more: https://public.nrao.edu/news/pressreleases/distant-merging-galaxies

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Reply Best View Yet of Merging Galaxies in Distant Universe (NRAO press release) (Original post)
eppur_se_muova Aug 2014 OP
bloomington-lib Aug 2014 #1

Response to eppur_se_muova (Original post)

Fri Aug 29, 2014, 10:20 PM

1. Here's what the Milky Way/Andromeda collision is supposed to look like


The solar system (and most other solar systems) is predicated to stay intact. Hopefully, whatever life is on the planet, will enjoy the show for over a billion years.

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