NEWS

UBC astrophysicists spot early galaxy formation

04/01/2015 02:55 EDT | Updated 06/01/2015 05:59 EDT
University of British Columbia researchers, along with a team of international astrophysicists, have caught a glimpse of what they believe to be early galaxy formation.

Douglas Scott, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UBC, says the team has been searching for the oldest light in the universe by using a telescope called Planck.

As they studied the 10 billion-year-old light, or cosmic microwave background, they also discovered "blobs in the sky."

"We find these blobs in the sky which aren't associated with our Milky Way galaxy," Scott told Daybreak South.

"We followed them up with another satellite called the Herschel satellite, where we can take much more detailed images of individual places.

"So we did that for over 200 of these blobs and we find in each case, they're made up of a small clump of each individually very bright galaxies."

Scott says stars and galaxies initially formed quickly and assembled into large clusters, but researchers don't understand how they're formed. This recent discovery may eventually lead to an answer, he said.

The universe is estimated to be 13.8 billion years old.

To hear the full interview with Douglas Scott, listen to the audio labelled: New research offers clues about the birth of galaxies

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