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Astronomers Discover Concentrated Cluster Of Galaxies Embedded In Dark Matter

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Using powerful radio telescopes known as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have found a concentrated cluster of enormous young galaxies surrounded by dark matter approximately 11.5 billion light-years away from Earth.

A current accepted theory involving the history of the Universe suggests that billions of years prior to the creation of the Sun and the Earth, the Universe was full of “monstrous galaxies” which, according to Discovery News, are believed to have matured into the giant elliptical galaxies that we observe in the Universe today.

The formation rate of stars in these galaxies is estimated to be hundreds, if not thousands of times greater than that of our own Milky Way galaxy. What makes these galaxies extra-special, however, is not just the formation rate of the stars within, but also the large presence of dark matter believed to encapsulate them.

Dark matter is invisible to us, and is the term scientists use to describe material that must exist but cannot be seen. Scientists know it exists because its presence can be measured through gravitational influences on space and time. Dark matter is believed to account for as much as 85 percent of all matter in the Universe.

With 60 times the heightened sensitivity and resolution, astronomers used ALMA to identify the locations of nine of galaxies in SSA22. In addition to the galaxies’ positions, the team found that these galaxies spin around the junction of dark matter filaments, furthering the belief that these galaxies form in areas of high dark matter concentration.

Since the discovered cluster of galaxies were found in a web of dark matter, and because the modern elliptical galaxies are simply the young monstrous galaxies that have aged, the astronomers concluded that “monstrous galaxies” must have originated in the center of the web.

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