Scientists reveal 'invisible' galaxy from the early universe, using space-time trick predicted by Einstein

Scientists detected a newborn galaxy in the early cosmos that is invisible in almost every wavelength using the ALMA telescope in Chile and Einstein's general theory of relativity.

A galaxy that has previously been practically impossible to detect because of its tremendous distance and darkness has now been fully described by researchers.

The youthful, gas- and dust-filled galaxy, which is still creating stars, was born 2 billion years after the Big Bang, or more than 11 billion years ago, when the universe was only a fraction of its present size. In all visible light spectrums, the object appears dim, far away, and covered in dust. The "invisible" galaxy, however, has just recently come into view for physicists thanks to a trick of gravity that Albert Einstein first anticipated. The Astrophysical Journal released the team's results on February 3rd .

According to lead author Marika Giulietti, an astronomer at the International School of Advanced Studies in Italy (SISSA), "very distant galaxies are true mines of knowledge about the past and future evolution of our cosmos" . But studying them is quite difficult. They are hard to notice because they are so little. Aside from that, their light is relatively feeble due of the distance.

The researchers used general relativity, a theory developed by Albert Einstein, to detect the far-off galaxy. According to the hypothesis, large objects like galaxies or perhaps even individual stars warp the space surrounding them, which causes any passing light to be amplified. This implies that when the stars align precisely, researchers may utilize large objects as a cosmic magnifying glass to examine other, more distant objects. Astronomers can now see some of the universe's very first galaxies because to the gravitational lensing phenomenon.

But even with gravitational lensing, it was difficult to detect this specific galaxy due to the enormous amount of interstellar dust blocking the view. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a network of 66 radio telescopes in Chile, was therefore used by the researchers. Submillimeter telescopes are frequently employed to study dust-covered celestial bodies because of the manner that dust absorbs and reemits light.

"Distant galaxies that are young, compact, characterized by vigorous star formation, and largely obscured by dust, and that possess a very rich reservoir of molecular gas, are forerunners of the massive quiescent galaxies that we see in the local universe," study co-author Andrea Lapi, also an astrophysicist at SISSA, said in the study. "ALMA peered through the dust to reveal a young, active galaxy that is forming stars at 1,000 These galaxies "offer extremely useful insights into the mechanisms contributing to the genesis and evolution of these structures over the history of the Cosmos," according to the study.

Although ALMA could only show a limited amount about this young galaxy, Lapi said that future observatories like the James Webb Space Telescope could be able to expose the galaxy in greater detail. Scientists can learn more about the early cosmos and how galaxies like our own evolve by studying galaxies like these.