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Last by Kelly Oakes on Feb 15, 2011, 5:10pm
Galaxy clusters are some of the largest structures in the universe. Astronomers have found these clusters, which are large groups of galaxies bound together by gravity, as far back as only 4 billion years after the Big Bang (less than a third of the age of the universe). They know they contain stars that formed even earlier than that. But nobody had caught a cluster while it was still forming — until now.
Astronomers have found a “protocluster” that was around only 1 billion years after the Big Bang (that’s a redshift of 5.3 for anyone that’s counting). It sits in a region that is 40 million light years across and is rich in young stars.
The protocluster was found in data from the Cosmological Evolution Survey, COSMOS
. COSMOS uses the Hubble
space telescopes with the ground based Keck Observatory
and Japan’s Subaru Telescope
to get an good look at the universe. COSMOS looks at a tiny region of sp . . . More