Newly-discovered galaxy forms stars at record pace

Apr 17, 2013
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Newly-discovered galaxy forms stars at record pace

Scientists, researchers, and astronomers alike are all working around the clock to try and discover new bits and pieces on the history of the universe, and it appears they stumbled onto something quite interesting just recently. Astronomers have spotted what appears to be the most productive star-forming galaxy ever found, dubbed HFLS 3.

It's said that HFLS 3 produces around 3,000 new stars each year, which is over 2,000 times as many as the Milky Way galaxy churns out. The galaxy is about 13 billion light years away, and it existed only about 880 million years after the Big Bang occurred, which makes HFLS 3 the most distant known pure starburst galaxy in the entire known universe.

The galaxy is also unusually bright, and it radiates infrared wavelengths that shine with a power that's equivalent to 30 trillion suns, according to astronomers. This is most likely the reason why HFLS 3 can product so many stars at such a rapid pace, despite it being close to the edge of the cosmos and being filled with dust.

The light from the galaxy takes around 12.8 billion years to reach Earth, so astronomers studying the galaxy now are looking at what the galaxy looked like in its early years, at a time when the universe was only around 1 billion years old. Eventually, the galaxy will slow down and will only form a handful of stars until it acquires more gas from its environment or by merging with another galaxy.

[via Nat Geo]


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