Massive galaxies formed when universe was young

Nov 24, 2010
The massive galaxy circled above was formed when the universe was still young, according to surprising findings from Tufts' Danilo Marchesini.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Some of the universe's most massive galaxies may have formed billions of years earlier than current scientific models predict, according to surprising new research led by Tufts University. The findings appear in the Astrophysical Journal published online Nov. 24 in advance of print publication on Dec. 10, 2010.

"We have found a relatively large number of very massive, highly luminous galaxies that existed almost 12 billion years ago when the universe was still very young, about 1.5 billion years old. These results appear to disagree with the latest predictions from models of and evolution," said Tufts astrophysicist Danilo Marchesini, lead author on the paper and assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the Tufts School of Arts and Sciences. "Current understanding of the physical processes responsible in forming such massive galaxies has difficulty reproducing these observations."

Collaborating with Marchesini were researchers from Yale University, Carnegie Observatories, Leiden University, Princeton University, the University of Kansas and the University of California-Santa Cruz.

The newly identified galaxies were five to ten times more massive than our own . They were among a sample studied at redshift 3≤z<4, when the universe was between 1.5 and 2 billion years old.

Redshift refers to the phenomenon of a light wave stretching and moving toward longer wavelengths (the red end of the spectrum) as the emitting object travels away from an observer (Doppler Effect). This is similar to the pitch of a siren getting lower as the siren moves away. The redshift of distant galaxies is due to the expansion of the universe. The larger the redshift, the more distant the galaxy is, or the farther back in time we are observing. The larger the redshift, the younger the universe in which the galaxy is observed.

By complementing existing data with deep images obtained through a new system of five customized near-infrared filters, the researchers were able to get a more complete view of the galaxy population at this early stage and more accurately characterize the sampled galaxies.

Massive Galaxies Ferociously Active

The researchers made another surprising discovery: More than 80 percent of these massive galaxies show very high infrared luminosities, which indicate that these galaxies are extremely active and most likely in a phase of intense growth. Massive galaxies in the local universe are instead quiescent and do not form stars at all.

The researchers note that there are two likely causes of such luminosity: New stars may be forming in dust-enshrouded bursts at rates of a few thousand solar masses per year. This would be tens to several hundreds of times greater than the rates estimated by spectral energy distribution (SED) modeling. Alternatively, the high infrared luminosity could be due to highly-obscured active galactic nuclei (AGN) ferociously accreting matter onto rapidly growing super-massive black holes at the galaxies' centers.

There might be an explanation that would at least partially reconcile observations with model-predicted densities. The redshifts of these massive galaxies, and hence their distances, were determined from the SED modeling and have not yet been confirmed spectroscopically. Redshift measurements from SED modeling are inherently less accurate than spectroscopy. Such "systemic uncertainties" in the determination of the distances of these galaxies might still allow for approximate agreement between observations and model predictions.

If half of the massive galaxies are assumed to be slightly closer, at redshift z=2.6, when the universe was a bit older (2.5 billion years old) and very dusty (with dust absorbing much of the light emitted at ultra-violet and optical wavelengths), then the disagreement between observations and model predictions becomes only marginally significant.

However, the discovery of the existence of such massive, old and very dusty galaxies at redshift z=2.6 would itself be a notable discovery. Such a galaxy population has never before been observed.

"Either way, it is clear that our understanding of how form is still far from satisfactory," said Marchesini.

"The existence of these galaxies so early in the history of the universe, as well as their properties, can provide very important clues on how galaxies formed and evolved shortly after the Big Bang," he added.

Explore further: Unique pair of supermassive black holes in an ordinary galaxy discovered

More information: "The Most Massive Galaxies at 3.0 ≤Z<4.0 in the NEWFIRM Medium-Band Survey: Properties and Improved Constraints on the Stellar Mass Function," Astrophysical Journal, published online Nov. 24, 2010, in advance of Dec. 10, 2010 print edition; Vol. 725, Issue 1.

Provided by Tufts University

4.9 /5 (14 votes)

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User comments : 23

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jmcanoy1860
not rated yet Nov 24, 2010
What? No YEC's here to claim proof of a young universe and ruin science for everyone?
Tuxford
2.3 / 5 (9) Nov 24, 2010
This is so embarrassing. And still they insist in maintaining the Big Bang fantasy? (Don't you dare think different!) Active galactic nuclei is why these distant objects are visible. Matter accreting??? Really??? That much matter accreting onto such a violent place? Really?? How do these bozos call themselves scientists? Right Sherlock.
kevinrtrs
1.9 / 5 (12) Nov 25, 2010
Current understanding of the physical processes responsible in forming such massive galaxies has difficulty reproducing these observations."

So what he's saying is that this observation once again falsifies the big bang theory. When will they let the thing die?

@jmcanoy1860: The claim for a young universe is that it's young within our own timeframe, created in six days and now approx. 6000 years old. However, due to gravitational time dilation effects, possibly billions of years of time would have passed as measured in the further reaches of the universe.

Furthermore, the researcher is saying that at 2.5 billion light years, we should be seeing younger looking stars and galaxies, not older, more mature items that look remarkably just like the rest.
If on the other hand all galaxies were created at the same time, but experienced time dilation as the universe was formed&stretched, you expect the light reaching us to now show those galaxies looking the same as all the others.
DamienS
4.2 / 5 (10) Nov 25, 2010
The claim for a young universe is that it's young within our own timeframe, created in six days and now approx. 6000 years old. However, due to gravitational time dilation effects, possibly billions of years of time would have passed as measured in the further reaches of the universe.

You're completely clueless, aren't you?
yyz
4.3 / 5 (9) Nov 25, 2010
Seems kev and Tuxford are just a few steps ahead of the researchers in their claims of how to interpret the data. Tuxford seems convinced that AGNs are the culprit here when the article(and paper) clearly note that obscured starbursts are another viable alternative to account for the high IR luminosities observed ("The researchers note that there are two likely causes of such luminosity:...").

And kev, as usual, seizes on the statement of a possible disagreement between theory and observation and totally ignores the disclaimer: ""systemic uncertainties" in the determination of the distances of these galaxies might still allow for approximate agreement between observations and model predictions.". There's a lot of wiggle room in these figures, as the authors of this paper readily note and clearly further research is called for(spectroscopic redshifts, for starters).

A preprint of the paper is available here: http://arxiv.org/...69v2.pdf
genastropsychicallst
1 / 5 (6) Nov 25, 2010
Massive and formed means double matter 'this', nothing gets younger relative universal 'that'.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (12) Nov 25, 2010
So what he's saying is that this observation once again falsifies the big bang theory.
No. What they're saying is that the observations do not exactly match the current understanding of galaxy formation.

You should read more than just the one book. Your comprehension will improve.
otto1932
1.8 / 5 (24) Nov 25, 2010
@jmcanoy1860: The claim for a young universe is that it's young within our own timeframe, created in six days and now approx. 6000 years old. However, due to gravitational time dilation effects, possibly billions of years of time would have passed as measured in the further reaches of the universe.
Wouldn't it be easier from your perspective to say that god just dropped the photons in their proper places and sent them on their own way, the same way he did with their apparent sources?

Why make god more complicated than he needs to be? 'The simplest god that satisfies all the criteria must be the right one.' -Correct? Unless he has some sense of style that is, in which case who knows?
otto1932
2.2 / 5 (26) Nov 25, 2010
I mean, the more detailed your theories are, the sillier you look when science proves them wrong and the more work you have to do to fix them (you should be used to it).

Best to say 'He did it because it's there' like you end up doing anyway.
KwasniczJ
1.4 / 5 (25) Nov 25, 2010
Such findings can ruin both Big Bang models, both cyclic models of universe easily. I collected more than twenty of similar observations already - i.e. more, then the number of experiments, which are proving general relativity, for example.

The problem with all these models is, they're considering, our local place in universe is the youngest one, thus violating Copernican principle.
KwasniczJ
1.4 / 5 (25) Nov 25, 2010
BTW some of my comments quoting these results were downvoted more then twenty trolls here, for example my post from here.

http://www.physor...big.html

These religious trolls are simply ignoring the very first rule of science: experiment and/or observation always goes first. Should we consider such people as a proponents of science, after then?
otto1932
1.4 / 5 (22) Nov 25, 2010
BTW some of my comments quoting these results were downvoted more then twenty trolls here, for example my post from here
Perhaps this might explain it:
http://en.wikiped...sychosis

-Otto is no doctor, he only guesses. I understand this can affect either sex? Caused by hormonal imbalances-

Maybe vitamin D deficit then?
omatumr
1.3 / 5 (6) Nov 25, 2010
This is so embarrassing. And still they insist in maintaining the Big Bang fantasy? (Don't you dare think different!) Active galactic nuclei is why these distant objects are visible. Matter accreting??? Really??? That much matter accreting onto such a violent place? Really?? How do these bozos call themselves scientists? Right Sherlock.


The cosmos is fragmenting from neutron repulsion, rather than coalescing to fuse H => He => C => . . . Fe

See: "On the cosmic nuclear cycle and the similarity of nuclei and stars", Journal of Fusion Energy 25 (2006) 107-114 and http://www.youtub...yLYSiPO0

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
Ravenrant
3 / 5 (2) Nov 27, 2010
Maybe if they understood what time is they might be able explain it.
KwasniczJ
1.9 / 5 (12) Nov 27, 2010
Maybe if they understood what time is they might be able explain it.
There's nothing to explain.. Why to spend the time with "explanation" of things with concepts, which do need explanations by itself?

The simplest explanation is, the Big Bang never happened at global scale and these galaxies are evaporating and dissolving all the time like giant fluctuations of dense gas. We just cannot see the very distant galaxies, because this environment disperses light wave like foggy air. But if we could come closer to Hubble deep field, a number of new galaxies would emerge - and many other galaxies would disappear in CMBR noise instead. Our local perspective is therefore similar to experience of tramp traveling through landscape under haze.
Ethelred
3.4 / 5 (8) Nov 27, 2010
So what he's saying is that this observation once again falsifies the big bang theory
No.
When will they let the thing die?
When there is an actual reason. Which may or may not ever happen. In any case the galaxies are definitely more that 6000 or so light years away so they still don't fit your fantasy world.
he claim for a young universe is that it's young within our own timeframe, created in six days and now approx. 6000 years old.
Which doesn't fit ANY evidence. Thus it is falsified.
However, due to gravitational time dilation effects, possibly billions of years of time would have passed as measured in the further reaches of the universe.
No. There is absolutely no evidence to support either that or a 6000 year old world.
Furthermore, the researcher is saying that at 2.5 billion light years, we should be seeing younger looking stars and galaxies, not older, more mature items that look remarkably just like the rest.


More
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (9) Nov 27, 2010
Which is what we are seeing. The galaxies are just LARGER than expected not older. And that is assuming they have the distance correct.

but experienced time dilation as the universe was formed&stretched, you expect the light reaching us to now show those galaxies looking the same as all the others.


No. We expect them to look younger than the close galaxies as the light has traveled farther.

By the way how do you reconcile the Flood with the total lack of evidence for it. When was it in your opinion? Funny how you don't seem to have an answer.

Ethelred
Ethelred
3.9 / 5 (9) Nov 27, 2010
The cosmos is fragmenting from neutron repulsion, rather than coalescing to fuse H => He => C => . . . Fe
There isn't any evidence for neutron repulsion. Considering that you think the neutrons are in an iron core it would be easy to test. Indeed the Indians did watch a stack of iron very carefully in a proton decay experiment for some years and found nothing. Surely they would have noticed iron spitting out PROTONS and hard radiation.

I pointed this out before and you just pretending it never happened.

Ethelred
Ethelred
3.6 / 5 (7) Nov 28, 2010
omatumr:
I don't mind getting ones from a Crank.Especially when that is the GOOD part when dealing with you.

I saw on the video you had that utterly irrelevant chart of isotopes again. It still shows exactly the same it always has. Larger mass atoms need MORE neutrons to be stable than low mass atoms.

IF neutrons REPELLED each other then atoms would be have to have LESS neutrons to be stable. The pile of iron in India would have PROVED you correct IF you had not been wrong.

Only a Crank would rather rant and rave and pass out ones instead of deal with these facts.

And that boy that did the video should know better than to have anything to do with you.

Ethelred
Tuxford
2 / 5 (4) Nov 29, 2010
What we are seeing with recent observations of active galactic cores, fermi bubbles, intergalactic gas clouds, modulated luminosities of stars orbiting close to our galactic core, pioneer effect (blue-shifting locally), fully formed galaxies early on, and more, cause me to cast my vote in favor of LaViolette's Subquantum Kinectics. Too many predictions are working out to be ignored. Blue-shifting a function of gravitational field explains active galactic cores, supernovaes, spacecraft maser anomolies, and much more. It is so nice to not be confused by these uncomfortable observations anymore.

If it quacks like a duck.... So what if it changes the current worldview. It is about time some basic principles are re-examined.
Waterdog
3 / 5 (2) Dec 02, 2010
If looking far away is like looking back in time as they say, then why can't we track the development of a given galaxy from the past until the present by just looking at different distances? They have been giving off light continuously so theoretically if you look at a distance of say 2 billion light years you should be able to see the Milky Way's light that it emitted 2 billion years ago, right? I know we can't do this but the reason escapes me.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 03, 2010
If looking far away is like looking back in time as they say, then why can't we track the development of a given galaxy from the past until the present by just looking at different distances?


How? The given galaxy is at a single distance from us. So we can only see it at a single time. By how, I mean without faster than light travel. If we had that THEN we could look at galaxies at different times.

Ethelred
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Dec 03, 2010
Oliver that is the stupidest one I have ever received. If you can show an error then it would be OK but you can't. So I will go hunting for posts that don't have ones already and you Crank rating will go even lower.

I know it will take a bit of effort since Barkan gives a well deserved one for nearly every post but you earned it.

You earned several actually.

Ethelred

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