A world group of astronomers guided by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has found an unusual monster galaxy that existed about 12 billion years ago when the universe was merely 1.8 billion years old.
Dubbed XMM-2599, the galaxy shaped stars at a high rate and then died. It’s still not clear why it suddenly stopped forming stars is unclear.
“Even before the universe was 2 billion years old, XMM-2599 had already created a mass of over 300 billion suns, making it an ultra massive galaxy,” said Benjamin Forrest, the lead author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher in the UC Riverside Department of Physics.
The staff used spectroscopic observations from the W. M. Keck Observatory’s powerful Multi-Object Spectrograph for Infrared Exploration (MOSFIRE) to make precise measurements of XMM-2599 and quantify its distance.
The research staff discovered XMM-2599 developed over 1,000 photovoltaic plenty a year in stars at its peak of exercise—an unusually high rate of star formation. In distinction, the Milky Way varieties about one new star every year.
Co-author Michael Cooper, an affiliate professor of astronomy at UC Irvine, stated this result is a robust possibility.
The group has been granted more time at the Keck Observatory to follow up on pending questions prompted by XMM-2599.