Milky Way-like galaxies may have existed in the early universe

August 5, 2015, Carnegie Mellon University
Disk galaxies and black holes found in the BlueTides simulation of the early universe. The simulation, created by Carnegie Mellon and UC Berkeley researchers, is 100 times larger than previous simulations. Credit: bluetides-project.org

A new, large-scale computer simulation has shown for the first time that large disk galaxies, much like our own Milky Way, may have existed in the early days of the universe.

The simulation, created by physicists at Carnegie Mellon University's McWilliams Center for Cosmology and the University of California Berkeley, shows that the early universe —a mere 500 million years after the Big Bang—might have had more order and structure than previously thought.

Their findings, which will be published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, will help guide researchers using next-generation telescopes like the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as they search the sky for evidence of the first galaxies.

"It's awe inspiring to think that galaxies much like our own existed when the universe was so young," said Tiziana Di Matteo, professor of physics at Carnegie Mellon. "The deepest Hubble Space Telescope observations have thus only covered small volumes of space and have found very irregular, clumpy galaxies at these early epochs. It is not surprising that in these small volumes some of the do not have regular morphologies like large disk galaxies. Similarly, numerical simulations have been limited in size so they have only made predictions for the smaller, clumpier galaxies at these early times."

Di Matteo and fellow CMU Physics Professor Rupert Croft have long been at the forefront of simulation cosmology, completing some of the largest simulations ever created. Their current simulation, called BlueTides, is 100 times larger than previous simulations. It was so large that it monopolized all of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supercomputer BlueWater's memory and almost 1 million CPUs in order to complete the simulation.

Di Matteo, Croft and their former graduate student Yu Feng, now a post-doctoral researcher at UC Berkeley, began by seeding their simulation with constraints provided by the theory, the prevailing theory that explains what may have happened in the universe after the Big Bang.

After the simulation was completed, the researchers looked at their data to see what they could find, much like observational cosmologists would do with data gathered using a telescope. They were surprised to find a number of disk galaxies in the universe at 500 million years post-Big Bang. Since disk galaxies are so large and complex, most researchers assumed that they would take a very long time to form and would be rare, if they existed at all, in the early universe.

"Theoretically we thought that when the universe was only 5 percent of its present age, it would be a place full of chaos and disorder," Croft said. "Our simulation showed that the early universe might be far from being just this. It might contain beautiful symmetrical galaxies, like the Milky Way."

From their simulation, the researchers were able to make predictions about the galaxies' luminosities, angular sizes, morphologies, colors and expected number. When telescopes like WFIRST and JWST come online, they will be able to search for galaxies that fit the descriptions developed by the BlueTides simulation. If and observational results match, it could be a strong proof of the cold .

"Right now, we're converging on an exciting time in cosmology. Previously, we couldn't study disk galaxies in the using telescopes because the galaxies were so faint and rare. We couldn't study them in a computer because no computers were large enough to cope," Di Matteo said. "The technology has caught up, and we can complete the simulations using today's large supercomputers, and we will be able to use telescopes like WFIRST to make the observations."

Explore further: We're not alone—but the universe may be less crowded than we think

More information: The Astrophysical Journal Letters, arxiv.org/abs/1504.06618

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20 comments

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Benni
1.9 / 5 (14) Aug 05, 2015


What I see here is a group of astro-physicists who are about to be taken to the woodshed for suggesting mature galaxies like ours existed within 500 million years of the Big Bang.

What I can't figure out is how this simulation if verified by WFIRST & JWST will be proof of the existence of CDM. Just because it provides evidence that mature galaxies like the Milky Way existed in the "early universe"?

docile
Aug 05, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Steve 200mph Cruiz
3.5 / 5 (11) Aug 05, 2015
Benni,
They didn't suggest anything, they put a bunch of math into a computer and this is the answer they got.

Docile,
Models aren't what save the big bang theory, observation does
verkle
Aug 05, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Benni
1.3 / 5 (12) Aug 06, 2015
Docile,
Models aren't what save the big bang theory, observation does


Just how old must these guys be who observed this?
docile
Aug 06, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
docile
Aug 06, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Returners
2.3 / 5 (12) Aug 06, 2015
Dark Matter is unnecessary to acheive Spiral Galaxy characteristics.

We live in a Spiral Galaxy, and there is no evidence of any Dark Matter within our Galaxy.

In fact, a few weeks ago it was shown that our Galaxy is actually only about 1/4th the mass that has been cited in encyclopedias and text books for a few decades. Wikipedia still proudly cites a fraudulent mass which was MADE UP by the DM theorists and then forced upon people as a "fact" without evidence. New findings refute it

Models aren't what save the big bang theory, observation does


Reverse extrapolation is not an "observation". It is in fact a "model" which assumes no changes in the laws of physics.

However, since the BB theory actually does not work, they then CHANGED the laws of physics temporarily by inserting something called "Inflation"....

If the laws can change once, they can change many times, which means the science of astronomy is doomed if the Inflationary model is accepted.
Returners
1.8 / 5 (9) Aug 06, 2015
Reverse extrapolation can be a very useful mathematical tool, however we should never rely on it as some sort of absolute truth.

We can present examples of reverse extrapolation which are nonsensical...

Running a clock backwards for a million years worth of time is possible, so is a billion, trillion, etc, however just because a clock could in principle be "reverse extrapolated" to an infinite past, or a 13.8 billion year past, doesn't mean the clock actually existed then.

That's one fallacy the BB hypothesis commits right away, the fallacy of indefinite reverse extrapolation.
Benni
1.4 / 5 (11) Aug 06, 2015
That's one fallacy the BB hypothesis commits right away, the fallacy of indefinite reverse extrapolation.


......but this is not what Stevo200 above thinks. He states there are people who observed the BB as it was occurring. Maybe they took pictures as well? I'd like to see what they saw 14 billion years ago.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Aug 06, 2015
Re: "... The simulation, created by physicists at Carnegie Mellon University's McWilliams Center for Cosmology ..."

Watch out! CMU is a hotbed of IEEE heretics. All of the ECE's there are -- gasp! -- AUTOMATICALLY signed up for IEEE. Nothing to see here; carry on with textbook worldview, folks.
ShotmanMaslo
4.6 / 5 (10) Aug 06, 2015
That's one fallacy the BB hypothesis commits right away, the fallacy of indefinite reverse extrapolation.


......but this is not what Stevo200 above thinks. He states there are people who observed the BB as it was occurring. Maybe they took pictures as well? I'd like to see what they saw 14 billion years ago.


Speed of light is finite and thus by observing distant universe we are also looking into the past. So yes, cosmology is probably the only "historical" science with the ability to directly observe the past. They saw the CMB, as predicted by big bang theory, and there are pictures, too.
FredJose
1.3 / 5 (13) Aug 07, 2015
by observing distant universe we are also looking into the past

Strange then that the observations currently show that galaxies are fully matured at even the "youngest" stage of the BB. So what the current real observations are showing is that the BB theory is caput and this kind of simulation is simply a way to provide airy-fairy explanations as to why the observations so definitively contradict the theory.
With this simulation will they now begin to cut the theory to pieces or will they keep on making just-so stories in spite of the real observed evidence that the theory is predicting nonsense?
Benni
1.4 / 5 (11) Aug 07, 2015
That's one fallacy the BB hypothesis commits right away, the fallacy of indefinite reverse extrapolation.


..but this is not what Stevo200 above thinks. He states there are people who observed the BB as it was occurring. Maybe they took pictures as well? I'd like to see what they saw 14 billion years ago.


cosmology is probably the only "historical" science with the ability to directly observe the past. They saw the CMB, as predicted by big bang theory, and there are pictures, too.


No, this is not what pop-sci cosmology is doing. They have taken a creationist BB hypothesis, postulated data to fit the hypothesis & went hunting for that data for use in interpretation of the hypothesis, the CMB is simply something they discovered & has become a convenient data point. Only the CMB is historical, we know this because it can be detected, &measured, it is pure speculation what has caused it because there is no historical record as you claim.

mytwocts
4.5 / 5 (8) Aug 08, 2015
At least "pop-sci cosmology" backs up its claims with traceable calculations.
They are not just inventing arbitrary rants on the spot, like you do.
They are right or they are wrong.
You however are "not even wrong".
mytwocts
5 / 5 (9) Aug 08, 2015
We live in a Spiral Galaxy, and there is no evidence of any Dark Matter within our Galaxy.

The rotation curve is considered evidence for DM.
Your statement is at odds with the truth.
jim_xanara
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 09, 2015
What a joke. 1/2 the verbiage on this page is from one very disturbed individual. WHY would anyone argue with Returners/Benni/Docile??? You really risk being as big a joke as he is when you think anything you say will make any difference. The very few, like CantDrive85 and denglish that masturbate with him cannot process what you say, let alone change their mind. Everyone else knows what a mental case he is? Just what is the point?
mytwocts
4 / 5 (4) Aug 09, 2015
@jim
Thanks for being there !
We can not let this blog go to the dogs now can we?
But yes I see your point.
NiteSkyGerl
1 / 5 (3) Aug 09, 2015
Oy vey!
Vietvet
5 / 5 (1) Aug 09, 2015
jim-xanara is a despicable piece of scum.

https://sciencex....a/?v=act

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