When did galaxies settle down?

October 30, 2014
A Hubble Space Telescope image of a spiral galaxy seen when the Universe was less than a third of its current age, yet showing the same barred feature as much older, settled disk galaxies. Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Kartaltepe (NOAO), C. Lintott (Oxford), H. Ferguson (STScI), S. Faber

Astronomers have long sought to understand exactly how the universe evolved from its earliest history to the cosmos we see around us in the present day. In particular, the way that galaxies form and develop is still a matter for debate. Now a group of researchers have used the collective efforts of the hundreds of thousands of people that volunteer for the Galaxy Zoo project to shed some light on this problem. They find that galaxies may have settled into their current form some two billion years earlier than previously thought.

Dr Brooke Simmons of the University of Oxford and her collaborators describe the work in a paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The team set Zoo volunteers the task of classifying the shapes of tens of thousands of observed by the Hubble Space Telescope. These objects are typically very distant, so we see them as they appeared more than 10 billion years ago, when the was about 3 billion years old, less than a quarter of its present age.

The newly classified galaxies are striking in that they look a lot like those in today's universe, with disks, bars and spiral arms. But theorists predict that these should have taken another 2 billion years to begin to form, so things seem to have been settling down a lot earlier than expected.

Brooke comments: "When we started looking for these galaxies, we didn't really know what we'd find. We had predictions from galaxy simulations that we shouldn't find any of the barred features that we see in nearby, evolved galaxies, because very young galaxies might be too agitated for them to form."

'But we now know that isn't the case. With the public helping us search through many thousands of images of distant galaxies, we discovered that some galaxies settle very early on in the Universe."

A European Southern Observatory image of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365, rotated to match the orientation of the first image. NGC 1365 is about 56 million light years away, so we see it as it appears 56 million years ago, or 10 billion years later than the galaxy in the HST image. Credit: ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/ R. Gendler, J-E. Ovaldsen, C. Thöne, and C. Feron

Explore further: Hubble and Galaxy Zoo find bars and baby galaxies don't mix

More information: "Galaxy Zoo: CANDELS Barred Disks and Bar Fractions", B. D. Simmons et al, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press, 445, pp. 3466-3474. arxiv.org/abs/1409.1214

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23 comments

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Tuxford
1 / 5 (12) Oct 30, 2014
So much for the Huge Bang Fantasy. It is only a matter of time....
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (7) Oct 30, 2014
So much for the Huge Bang Fantasy
@tux
can you please point out where in the study this undermines the BB?
be very specific so that we can all follow along

Thanks
Tuxford
1 / 5 (8) Oct 30, 2014
"The newly classified galaxies are striking in that they look a lot like those in today's universe, with disks, bars and spiral arms. But theorists predict that these should have taken another 2 billion years to begin to form, so things seem to have been settling down a lot earlier than expected."

Merger maniacs surprised again. The universe is far older than the fanciful expansion/condensation model. No wonder every respected astronomer is so confused. They keep having to patch their stubborn fantasy.
MrVibrating
2.7 / 5 (3) Oct 30, 2014
@Tuxford

It does seem nuts that the universe could even have a beginning. And worse, that it has a finite beginning but an infinite 'heat death' of an ending... just seems so paradoxical that something infinite could have a finite genesis. All of which only serves to drive home the burning question of why there's anything, instead of nothing.. i mean, if the universe were clearly steady-state then the anthropic principle would make that question moot. Yet you can't deny that all the best evidence appears to be confirming this?

Personally i think there may be an older substrate - that what we think of as 'universe' is slightly more multi-faceted than 'all that exists in this realm', encompassing or at least to some extent dependent upon some other realm not wholly of this one. Certainly, that 'time' may be more fundamental. But all of this is pure speculation, of course...
IMP-9
4.6 / 5 (9) Oct 30, 2014
"The newly classified galaxies are striking in that they look a lot like those in today's universe, with disks, bars and spiral arms. But theorists predict that these should have taken another 2 billion years to begin to form, so things seem to have been settling down a lot earlier than expected."


Ah yes, simulations which include dozens of parameters not just cosmology conflict with observations. Therefore cosmology is wrong. Total rubbish. Standard cosmology is much more trustworthy that galaxy formation models.
tritace
Oct 30, 2014
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tritace
Oct 30, 2014
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tritace
Oct 30, 2014
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tritace
Oct 30, 2014
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pauljohnson54
1 / 5 (10) Oct 30, 2014
Fairy tales - fairy tales - fairy tales tired of these people pushing their fairy tales over and over. Anyone with any brain can see the holes in it. But for those who don't know – simulations, assumptions, theories - they say the evidence is there – where? Fairy tales
saposjoint
4.6 / 5 (10) Oct 30, 2014
Pauljohnson54, take your medication as directed. Don't post again until it takes affect.

IMP-9:

"The newly classified galaxies are striking in that they look a lot like those in today's universe, with disks, bars and spiral arms. But theorists predict that these should have taken another 2 billion years to begin to form, so things seem to have been settling down a lot earlier than expected."


Ah yes, simulations which include dozens of parameters not just cosmology conflict with observations. Therefore cosmology is wrong. Total rubbish. Standard cosmology is much more trustworthy that galaxy formation models.


Your subtlety takes me a minute. It must skim right over the heads of your targets. ;)
IMP-9
4.4 / 5 (7) Oct 31, 2014
The standard cosmology is mostly based on speculations, whereas the galaxy formation is well understood, because the astronomers have pretty few samples of it before eyes.


Where are the observations which rectify inefficient star formation in the early universe? Don't exist. Where is the galaxy formation model which can solve the missing substructure problem and he planes of dwarfs and doesn't require tuning? Doesn't exist. Galaxy formation models even go as far to use free parameters to get out of simulating computationally intensive task. They do an ok job but not like cosmology. Cosmology on the other hand as a range of direct tests. Observations do not always tell the physics you want to know.

Galaxy formation does not require chaotic inflation.

If you knew what you were talking about you would see that surface brightness paper by Lerner is crap, he uses a linear Hubble law which any undergrad could tell you doesn't hold at these moderate redshifts.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (6) Oct 31, 2014
Merger maniacs surprised again
@tux
i asked
can you please point out where in the study this undermines the BB?
be very specific so that we can all follow along
but you quoted the article...
that is not the study

i hate to be rude, but you are making it difficult
i will capitalize the important part for you:

Please show me WHERE IN THE STUDY this undermines the BB...

forget about artistic license and authors tendencies to get creative... point out the flaws in the study where it undermines BB

thanks

If you knew what you were talking about you would see
@IMP
THANK YOU for continuing to bring legitimate science and astrophysics to the comments
it helps me a lot and the noob's learn a great deal too

and like Sapo said.... your subtlety is awesome!
keep up the great work and thanks again
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2014
Where is the galaxy formation model which can solve the missing substructure problem and he planes of dwarfs and doesn't require tuning? Doesn't exist.
What's the "missing substructure problem?" What's "[t]he planes of dwarfs?" And actually, fine tuning *is* required without inflation; first, to make the universe flat, and second, to make the CMB uniform across the visible universe. The opposite sides of the universe from where we're sitting are 13.6 billion years from us; that's 27.2 billion light years. How did they get to be the same if they cannot ever have been in contact with one another, given that the universe is 13.6 billion years old? This is a huge causality problem. Inflation solves it.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2014
Galaxy formation models even go as far to use free parameters to get out of simulating computationally intensive task. They do an ok job but not like cosmology. Cosmology on the other hand as a range of direct tests. Observations do not always tell the physics you want to know.
Hmmmm, I'd like to see some confirmation of these "free parameters [used] to get out of simulating..." Got any sources?

Galaxy formation does not require chaotic inflation.
I'll agree with that; in fact, it doesn't require inflation at all, except for the fact that galaxies that are 26 billion light years apart and therefore (since the universe is only 13 billion years old) cannot ever have been in contact.

And galaxy formation *does* require dark matter.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2014
If you knew what you were talking about you would see that surface brightness paper by Lerner is crap, he uses a linear Hubble law which any undergrad could tell you doesn't hold at these moderate redshifts.
It doesn't hold over long distances, either; past about 7 billion light years, the Hubble Constant changes its acceleration. So that's two strikes against it. And he apparently just ignores the supernova data, which is the third strike. To top it all off, the paper isn't peer-reviewed and hasn't been accepted for publication. It's just on arXiv, which doesn't do peer review.

Edited to add: Oops; that should say "in fact, it doesn't require inflation at all, except for the fact that galaxies that are 26 billion light years apart and therefore (since the universe is only 13 billion years old) cannot ever have been in contact" *are the same.*
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 01, 2014
But, IMP, your arguments are at least reasonable, if a bit out of the mainstream. So I won't downrate your posts.
IMP-9
3 / 5 (2) Nov 01, 2014
What's the "missing substructure problem?" What's "[t]he planes of dwarfs?"


Problems with galaxy formation. Models predict more small scale halos than observed, it also predicts dwarf galaxies to be spherically distributed. Possible solutions are poorly understood.

By tuning I do not mean fine tuning. Inflation has nothing to do with it. It's about how you simplify physics with free parameters. Take the recent ILLUSTRIOUS simulation as an example. They discuss their free parameters which centre around feedback. They tune their model to an observation with these parameters (usually the luminosity function) and then use that to predict the physics.

http://arxiv.org/...49v2.pdf

I never said anything about dark matter.

This is not out of the mainstream, it is simply reality. Galaxy formation is not as well understood as cosmology because the physics is more complicated.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 01, 2014
I'd like to understand a great deal more about these two problems. Can you tell me more about these missing halos (which I assume is the missing substructure) and where they come from, and what we'd expect to see if they were there that we don't?

I saw an article here on PhysOrg recently that claimed an explanation for the incorrect prediction of more dwarf galaxies around the Milky Way by previous models. Does this have any impact on the "planes of dwarfs(sic)" problem? (Sorry, but the plural of "dwarf" is "dwarves," not "dwarfs." This is a pet peeve of mine.)
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 01, 2014
Found it. http://phys.org/n...sts.html

Dr Kafle's measurement helps to solve a mystery that has been haunting theorists for almost two decades.

"The current idea of galaxy formation and evolution, called the Lambda Cold Dark Matter theory, predicts that there should be a handful of big satellite galaxies around the Milky Way that are visible with the naked eye, but we don't see that," Dr Kafle said.

"When you use our measurement of the mass of the dark matter the theory predicts that there should only be three satellite galaxies out there, which is exactly what we see; the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Small Magellanic Cloud and the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy."
IMP-9
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2014
The missing substructure (missing satellite problem) is the observation that there are fewer dwarf galaxies than predicted. Recent models predicted more dwarf galaxy satellites than are observed. There are multiple solutions. Strong supernova feedback which suppresses star formation meaning these halos aren't detected, or tidal interactions where the dwarfs are disputed, or warm dark matter where the small dark matter halos never form. Simulators favour the prior but it is not clear. This problem goes beyond the milky way and so that article does not solve it, the paper doesn't mention what assumptions about feedback they have used to make this claim so I don't put much faith in it.

IMP-9
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2014
Current models also predict satellite galaxies to be spherically distributed around their parent galaxy, they are however observed to favour the plane of the parent galaxy. It's not clear how this comes about but there are proposed solutions like most of the dwarfs being captured together, post interaction formation or self-interacting dark matter. Again the solution is not clear. It may be a local bias, it may not.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 04, 2014
Thanks, IMP.

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