Small blue galaxy could shed new light on Big Bang, astronomers say

Small blue galaxy could shed new light on Big Bang, IU astronomers say
John J. Salzer. Credit: Indiana University

A faint blue galaxy about 30 million light-years from Earth and located in the constellation Leo Minor could shed new light on conditions at the birth of the universe.

Astronomers at Indiana University recently found that a galaxy nicknamed Leoncino, or "little lion," contains the lowest level of heavy chemical elements, or "metals," ever observed in a gravitationally bound system of stars.

The study appears today in the Astrophysical Journal. The lead author on the paper is Alec S. Hirschauer, a graduate student in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Astronomy. Other IU authors on the paper are professor John J. Salzer and associate professor Katherine L. Rhode in the Department of Astronomy.

"Finding the most metal-poor galaxy ever is exciting since it could help contribute to a quantitative test of the Big Bang," Salzer said. "There are relatively few ways to explore conditions at the birth of the universe, but low-metal are among the most promising."

This is because the current accepted model of the start of the universe makes clear predictions about the amount of helium and hydrogen present during the Big Bang, and the ratio of these atoms in metal-poor galaxies provides a direct test of the model.

In astronomy, any element other than hydrogen or helium is referred to as a metal. The elemental make-up of metal-poor galaxies is very close to that of the early universe.

To find these low-metal galaxies, however, astronomers must look far from home. Our own Milky Way galaxy is a poor source of data due to the high level of heavier elements created over time by "stellar processing," in which stars churn out heavier elements through nucleosynthesis and then distribute these atoms back into the galaxy when they explode as supernovae.

"Low metal abundance is essentially a sign that very little stellar activity has taken place compared to most galaxies," Hirschauer said.

Leoncino is considered a member of the "local universe," a region of space within about 1 billion light years from Earth and estimated to contain several million galaxies, of which only a small portion have been cataloged. A galaxy previously recognized to possess the lowest metal abundance was identified in 2005; however, Leoncino has an estimated 29 percent lower metal abundance.

The abundance of elements in a galaxy is estimated based upon spectroscopic observations, which capture the light waves emitted by these systems. These observations allow astronomers to view the light emitted by galaxies like a rainbow created when a prism disperses sunlight.

Regions of space that form stars, for example, emit light that contains specific types of bright lines, each indicating the atoms from various gases: hydrogen, helium, oxygen, nitrogen and more. In the light of the star-forming region in Leoncino, IU scientists detected lines from these elements, after which they used the laws of atomic physics to calculate the abundance of specific elements.

"A picture is worth a thousand words, but a spectrum is worth a thousand pictures," Salzer said. "It's astonishing the amount of information we can gather about places millions of light years away."

The study's observations were made by spectrographs on two telescopes in Arizona: the Mayall 4-meter telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory and the Multiple Mirror Telescope at the summit of Mount Hopkins near Tucson. The galaxy was originally discovered by Cornell University's Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA, or ALFALFA, radio survey project.

Officially, the "little lion" is named AGC 198691. The scientists who conducted the metal abundance analysis nicknamed the galaxy Leoncino in honor of both its constellation location and in recognition of the Italian-born radio astronomer, Riccardo Giovanelli, who led the group that first identified the galaxy.

Aside from low levels of , Leoncino is unique in several other ways. A so-called "dwarf galaxy," it's only about 1,000 in diameter and composed of several million stars. The Milky Way, by comparison, contains an estimated 200 billion to 400 billion stars. Leoncino is also blue in color, due to the presence of recently formed hot stars, but surprisingly dim, with the lowest luminosity level ever observed in a system of its type.

"We're eager to continue to explore this mysterious galaxy," said Salzer, who is pursuing observing time on other telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope, to delve deeper into this fascinating object. "Low-metal-abundance galaxies are extremely rare, so we want to learn everything we can."


Explore further

Astronomers discover the most metal-poor galaxy in the local universe

More information: Alec S. Hirschauer et al, ALFALFA DISCOVERY OF THE MOST METAL-POOR GAS-RICH GALAXY KNOWN: AGC 198691, The Astrophysical Journal (2016). DOI: 10.3847/0004-637X/822/2/108 , http://arxiv.org/abs/1603.03798
Journal information: Astrophysical Journal

Provided by Indiana University
Citation: Small blue galaxy could shed new light on Big Bang, astronomers say (2016, May 12) retrieved 23 April 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-small-blue-galaxy-big-astronomers.html
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May 12, 2016
"To find these low-metal galaxies, however, astronomers must look far from home. Our own Milky Way galaxy is a poor source of data due to the high level of heavier elements created over time by "stellar processing," in which stars churn out heavier elements through nucleosynthesis and then distribute these atoms back into the galaxy when they explode as supernovae."

Stellar Processing of heavier elements, then distribution of those atoms through Supernovae.
How so like this is to a field of flowers whose seeds are getting ready to be blown and distributed by the wind, similar to dandelion seed pods floating far from the parent plant. Nature is certainly amazing.

Supernovae seeding the Universe.

May 12, 2016
Very interesting. We'll see what they find out.

May 13, 2016
How can be formed stars and galaxies through gravity which is not able to stop fast hypothetical expansion of the universe after the imaginary big bang for me remains a mystery for me. To believe in the big bang is the same as to believe in the red hat. For this is not require intelligence and critical thinking. Only faith and reluctance to accept the presence of the Creator who gives and sustains order and life in the universe. In practice who denies the Creator denies life. This is easily explained by spiritual condition called narcissistic sado masochism caused by lack of love in life.

May 13, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

May 13, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

May 13, 2016
"How can be formed stars and galaxies through gravity which is not able to stop fast hypothetical expansion of the universe after the imaginary big bang".

The expansion is observed, look up Hubble constant and microwave background, and accounting for it makes for a solid observation of the universe age, now with ~ 0.1 % uncertainty. It used to be ~ 100 % age uncertainty, precisely because Big Bang models were based on the idea of gravitational balancing, with the universe poised according to best estimates at the critical density that would stop the expansion.

Or equivalently, that a Newtonian model of the universe was given precisely the critical escape velocity by the Big Bang. But then came the observations of the microwave background spectar and revealed the presence of a non-zero vacuum energy. [See expert Susskind's Stanford cosmology lectures on youtube, an easy breezy way to grok this.]

No magic is involved, implying your boring religion is false.

May 13, 2016
[Turning from childish evangelists for invisible bearded garden fairies that purportedly grant 'eternal life' if you wave their magic prayer wand just so, to the science:

A faint blue galaxy about 30 million light-years from Earth
It's relatively nearby galaxy. The oldest galaxies formed freshly after BigBang should be visible at distance at least 14 billions of light years instead


Yes, but the point is the galaxy is newly formed from gas that has not seen star formation before. This happens here and at the distances you mention, where they see a lot more blue galaxies without heavy elements. You are referring to younger galaxies, that you see some 2-3 billion years after Big Bang.

That it happens here is because the inflationary cosmology is correct, and galaxies form around DM + SM filaments that persisted since before the BB (but then in the form of inflation field local state) and after got populated by particles. [Planck legacy archive.]

May 13, 2016
How can be formed stars and galaxies through gravity which is not able to stop fast hypothetical expansion of the universe after the imaginary big bang for me remains a mystery for me.

Very easy to understand if you know the difference between the words "global" and "local".

For example the Andromeda galaxy is falling towards the Milky Way faster than the space between the two galaxies expands. Locally gravity can overcome expansion (easily).

I know you rather have a belief because these words "local" and "global" are already to complicated for you to understand. But don't make it out as if others cannot handle such simple, simple concepts.

May 13, 2016
Hi guys. :)

I already explained long ago that the 'recycled' DE-CONSTRUCTED material/energy from polar jet plumes of all scales from novae, to supernovae/neutron stars, to black holes from solar mass scales to supermassive galactic, keep replenishing the intergalactic/interstellar 'medium'. We can see tghis happening at every scale, via the x-rays and gamma rays and Ir/Radio waves etc which these recycling Jet systems produce.

Hence it's OBVIOUS that at all scales/distances there will be NEWLY formed features like star clusters and smaller galaxies which have "pristine" hydrogen/helium abundances supplied via those jets from previous/nearby 'recycling' processes involving 'jets' and 'winds' of recycled material/energy.

So the simplistic 'interpretations' of observations (of such low-metallicity features, near and far distant) are just that, simplistic. :)

PS @ antialias: Your logic/argument to viko_mx doesn't work; as above galaxy would have merged with ours by now. :)

May 13, 2016
Hi guys. :)
And how you are too Really-Skippy I am good as I usually am, thanks for asking.

I already explained long ago that the 'recycled'
Cher, if they did not believe you then, why you think telling it one more time is going to do the job?

Hence it's OBVIOUS that
That's what you said the last couple of times and just between you and me, I don't think saying it all again is going to make it obvious to anybody but you.

So the simplistic 'interpretations' of observations
Why you say everybody else interpreting is "simplistic", but yours is "OBVIOUS"?

Seeing how you are the only who thinks you are right, and you think everybody else is wrong,,,, maybe possible probably you have not observed the 'interpretations' the was a science trained Skippy did. Did you remember to do your diligence?

PS @ antialias: Your logic/argument to viko_mx doesn't work;
Alright, that one I agree because nobody else's works with him either.

May 13, 2016
Hi Ira.

There's no "beliefs" in real true science method, only logical and physical data and hypotheses which may be either refuted or confirmed by observation. Hence my explanation above stands whether anyone has "believed" it or ot, until it can be refuted. So far the observations confirm what I have explained about the new-looking features having 'pristine-like' hydrogen/helium and low metallicity being possible without any big bang timeline etc involved. I also explained that the expansion argument/logic which antialias used in response to viko_mx's comment is a non-sequitur big bang argument. because that above galaxy would have merged with ours by now. And so, whether you 'believe' or 'agree' or not is neither here nor there in the science discussion, since you are still bot-voting idiot that doesn't understand either way. Now that's OBVIOUS. Just as obvious that my explanation is better than the simplistic ones being touted by BB 'experts'. Toodles, Ira. :)

May 13, 2016
@RC
PS @ antialias: Your logic/argument to viko_mx doesn't work; as above galaxy would have merged with ours by now. :)

Why do you say that? We know speed and directions, so the "when" of a merge is easily calculable... n'est-ce pas?

and -
Just as obvious that my explanation is better than the simplistic ones being touted by BB 'experts'.

Do you think that your jet-plume hypothesis hasn't been considered? And perhaps - included? It is only a part of the bigger picture, not the whole of it...


May 13, 2016
" ...and galaxies form around DM + SM filaments that persisted since before the BB (but then in the form of inflation field local state) and after got populated by particles. [Planck legacy archive.]"

Damn, that's the kind of succinct explanation I love :) Apart from SM filaments. Dunno what they are, help?

May 13, 2016
@TechDog: I am sorry, the short comment format (and the many trolls) makes responses cryptic at times.

I was referring to the filaments of dark matter and "standard matter" that makes up what is called galaxy filaments. (Also called "baryonic matter", i.e, ordinary photons and atoms et cetera.)

"In physical cosmology, galaxy filaments (subtypes: supercluster complexes, g alaxy walls, and galaxy sheets)[1][2] are the largest known structures in the universe. They are massive, thread-like formations, ... In the standard model of the evolution of the universe, galactic filaments form along and follow web-like strings of dark matter.[4] It is thought that this dark matter dictates the structure of the Universe on the grandest of scales. Dark matter gravitationally attractsbaryonic matter, and it is this "normal" matter that astronomers see forming long, thin walls of super-galactic clusters."

[ https://en.wikipe...filament ]

May 13, 2016
@RC: "I already explained long ago".

.... something irrelevant for cosmology that didn't need that 'explanation'.

May 13, 2016
I already explained long ago that the 'recycled' DE-CONSTRUCTED material/energy from polar jet plumes of all scales from novae, to supernovae/neutron stars, to black holes from solar mass scales to supermassive galactic, keep replenishing the intergalactic/interstellar 'medium'. We can see tghis happening at every scale, via the x-rays and gamma rays and Ir/Radio waves etc which these recycling Jet systems produce.

At what efficiency ratio vs consumption? (ie - how much out vs how much in)
When a nova blows does it follow an axial plume path?
And don't supernovas PRODUCE metallic material?

May 13, 2016
"I was referring to the filaments of dark matter and "standard matter" that makes up what is called galaxy filaments. (Also called "baryonic matter", i.e, ordinary photons and atoms et cetera.)"

Thanks. I was guessing it meant that, think I'm getting better at this science thing :)

May 14, 2016
"I was referring to the filaments of dark matter and "standard matter" that makes up what is called galaxy filaments. (Also called "baryonic matter", i.e, ordinary photons and atoms et cetera.)"

Thanks. I was guessing it meant that, think I'm getting better at this science thing :)
- TehDog
It would be a huge mistake to swallow every piece of the Standard Model, merely because it is the most prevalent from those who firmly believe in it in this science site.
The fact of the matter is that not ALL evidences have been tallied, and it may not even happen within our lifetimes.
As scientific research is fraught with change on an almost regular basis, it is inadvisable to take as the whole truth everything written in articles and comments...and then feel foolish later when something else entirely different is disseminated...also as truth and fact.

"Let The Buyer Beware" also applies to scientific research and info.

May 14, 2016
@ Ira
In the thread, http://phys.org/n...html#jCp
you seemed to be accusing me of having "stolen" from someone named Really-Skippy without specifying what it was that you imagined I stole. And then you ran off and didn't come back to the thread. Then Otto showed up after that with the usual insane garbage.
So now I see that you are referring to Reality Check as Really-Skippy.
Will you NOW explain what it is that your little mind thinks that I have stolen from RC so that I can repudiate you properly as the occasion sees fit?

May 14, 2016
Hi torbjorn_b_g_larsson. :)

Not so., mate. I have to explain again and again it seems, before the penny drops; that the mainstream simplistic 'explanations' are untenable in logics and physics arguments. Consider your own simplistic explanation of exotic DM filaments attracting ordinary matter and so 'creating' those filaments observed. You haven't explained how exotic DM not affected by anything except gravity can 'aggregate' like that in the first instance. Such hypothesized exotic DM would DISPERSE, not aggregate; especially if hypothesized 'cosmological expansion' is also factored into the logics/physics of it.

See, it's you not making logical/physical sense in your own theory parameters/claims?

Hence infinite/eternal 'recycing' across epochs via jets, which deconstruct/redistribute material, explains both 'flatness' of universe and 'pristine' low-metallicity features at all scales/distances. You seem biased; and not critically examining your own 'explanations'. :)

May 14, 2016
Hi Whyde. :)
Why do you say that? We know speed and directions, so the "when" of a merge is easily calculable... n'est-ce pas?
It was regarding his argument/logic about the above nearby galaxy. If the material has existed since big bang, then by now our 'local galaxy' gravity would have overcome expansion and 'swallowed' it. So billions of years since big bang would have seen that nearby material merged already long ago. Can't have it both ways; ie: pristine stuff since big bang; and still out there and not merged with our galaxy.

Do you think that your jet-plume hypothesis hasn't been considered? And perhaps included? It is only a part of the bigger picture, not the whole of it
I have been pointing out that eternal/infinite universe with such jets processes recycling material will produce what is observed; both 'flatness' and 'pristine' hydrogen/helium/low-metallicity features at all scales/distances. But big bang beliefs too strong and the obvious is ignored.

May 14, 2016
@o_pervert
It would be a huge mistake to swallow every piece of the Standard Model, merely because it is the most prevalent from those who firmly believe in it in this science site.

Only the motivation would be a mistake. The standard model is quite well founded. With a few modifications I would even say it may be correct.

May 14, 2016
The Standard Model is the Standard Model because we've confirmed it to a great extent in particle accelerator experiments, and in many other experiments as well. It describes all the matter and energy we've ever been able to directly detect. There are parts of it we are still exploring; the precise decay probabilities in the CKM and PMNS matrices, and complex color interactions, are good examples of this. But we know the basic facts of the four forces we've been able to detect, and of all the matter particles we've been able to detect.

It may be incomplete; in fact it probably is. But it is certainly not wrong, and very certainly not wrong in any trivial manner. And it's silly to pretend it is. It's like not "believing in" computers while you're posting on the Internet.

May 15, 2016
Today picture of Universe is total Wrong.

Space dont expanding!

Today model an atom is total Wrong.

Expanding nucleus of atoms recycling expanding movement / energy which have nature of expanding light and sometimes nature of expanding electrons.

Space is eternal and infinity place which is nothing.

Eternal movement / energy / pushing force recycling "himselfs" For ever.

Onesimpleprinciple com

May 15, 2016
Perhaps you could be more specific, . . . .

May 15, 2016
- Existence of galactic (galaxy) filaments:

"In physical cosmology, galaxy filaments (subtypes: supercluster complexes, galaxy walls, and galaxy sheets)[1][2] are the largest known structures in the universe. They are massive, thread-like formations, with a typical length of 50 to 80 megaparsecs h−1, (163 to 261 million light years) that form the boundaries between large voids in the universe.[3] Filaments consist of gravitationally bound galaxies; parts where a large number of galaxies are very close to each other (in cosmic terms) are called superclusters."

[tbctd]

May 15, 2016
[ctd]

"In the standard model of the evolution of the universe, galactic filaments form along and follow web-like strings of dark matter.[4] It is thought that this dark matter dictates the structure of the Universe on the grandest of scales. Dark matter gravitationally attractsbaryonic matter, and it is this "normal" matter that astronomers see forming long, thin walls of super-galactic clusters."

[ https://en.wikipe...filament ]

- RC: "I have to explain again and again".

Please don't, they are not 'explaining' anything in current physics. Peer review publish if the rest of us are wrong about the ideas pseudoscience status/your crackpot status, and they are relevant in some form or other.

May 15, 2016
To add a few details:

The present-day structure of the visible universe is the result of the ongoing era of attenuation -via expansion- of the Inflationary era. During the time of inflation, the structure of the universe was initiated as all the material in the singularity more or less instantaneously had a greatly increased volume to fill, which introduced turbulence into the distribution of material -strands, filaments, etc- of both DM/SM, which are observed in the present as the structure of the visible universe.

If you need a demo of this effect, just place your hand palm down upon the sediment in a puddle, and then quickly lift it up -the sediment will form strands and eddies as it is pulled into the larger volume of the puddle water.

As far as polar jets, and supernovae are concerned --sure they impact the distribution of matter in local space, but they do not produce new matter or disintegrate existing matter beyond ionization,

ctd

May 15, 2016
ctd

so RC (if I correctly interpret the comments) appears to misunderstand what happens within and around the energetic outbursts from galactic cores and other high-mass mergers. While it is true that as a collective force these events have an impact on the shape of the structure of the universe, it is only a small percentage of the overall structure.

As far as DM is concerned, since it only interacts with SM(and with itself, presumably) via gravity, then, again-- its distribution was similarly affected during inflation as was SM, which gives us the structure of the visible universe we see currently.

Nothing in the Standard Model contradicts what is observed. On the contrary --what is observed is well supported by the Standard Model-- up to the level of detail we are capable of detecting.

I think that what most of the AntiBB commenters take issue with is that the BB doesn't require a Creator, because it is sufficient unto itself.

ctd

May 15, 2016
ctd

Which is difficult to accept if you are a believer in a Creator, because you are conceptualizing the BB itself as "The Creator" --which is nothing other than the hoary "Multiplication Of Entities" conundrum.

And it is this belief system that actually introduces this perceived "paradox" into our observations of the universe. For this reason, anything at all like a literal belief in a Creator is at best a very uneasy relation with Science, and frequently expresses outright fundamental opposition and rejection, since it seeks to impose a PRECONDITION upon the universe for which there is NO EVIDENCE.

This puts people in the unenviable position of having to distort what we know to accord with their belief in Creation or having to reject Science. It is an Unfortunate Fact that one must exist on one side of the fence or the other, since there is no Middle Ground --as anyone who has dealt with this issue in their own life understands.

May 15, 2016
Hi torbjorn_b_g_larsson. :)

Mate, you still haven't explained the inconsistent logics/physics involved in exotic DM claims to clumping/filaments etc. If that were true, then in early BB epochs when universe was much smaller than now, all such exotic ZDM would have coalesced into Black Holes and stellar bodies/remnants which exist to this day. That is because, unlike ordinary matter which is both attracted and repelle by e-magnetic forces/heating to change its motions and slow/speed it up, any exotic DM would not be so affected, and would clump into Black Holes long ago; hence leaving almost no such exotic DM for us to 'observe/infer'. Can you see the inconsistency now in your/mainstream hypothesis/claims for exotic DM? My explanation satisfies Occam's Razor; explains universal 'flatness'; produces all the observed 'structure' and process' throughout an infinite/eternal jets-recycled material universal energy-space. No exotic DM or BB or inflation/expansion needed. :)

May 15, 2016
Hi Caliban. :)

That observation may apply to Religionists, but I am an ATHEIST since AGE NINE; and a scrupulously independent, objective researcher/observer/theoretician/experimenter in the 'hard sciences'. I apply the Scientific Method not compromised by 'publish or perish' or other personal imperatives/considerations which even mainstream seem to be overtly/covertly/subtly subject to (so it's not only 'religionists' who have some problems with objectivity and reason-without-flaws).

Anyhow, the standard model of Cosmological physics (as DISTINCT from the standard model of Particle physics; one should take care not to conflate the two 'standard models' when speaking of cosmological hypotheses/theories/claims etc), is not as 'sturdy' as you seem to believe. I have long pointed out the crucial FLAWS in INTERPRETATIONS in many astronomical observations, eg: in 'standard candle' assumptions; in exotic DM assumptions; in Big Bang assumptions; and etc. Reconsider it all, mate. :)

May 15, 2016
"... increased volume to fill, which introduced turbulence into the distribution of material..."
And again, another elegant explanation :)
(Feels right to me, maybe I'm too gullible :)

May 15, 2016
A good insight, TehDog.

May 16, 2016
Hi TehDog, Da Schneib. :)

From TehDog:
"... increased volume to fill, which introduced turbulence into the distribution of material..." And again, another elegant explanation :) (Feels right to me... :)
From Da Schneib:
A good insight, TehDog.
The whole point of Guth's INFLATION hypothesis was to 'explain' the observed 'flatness' of the universal space; to 'flatten out' any localized perturbations/fluctuations.

So any turbulence in that process would have 'smoothed out' almost immediately. Only LATER ORDINARY matter, E-M and gravity processes would have re-introduced/built-up the various observed inhomogeneities resulting in galaxies and filaments etc.

See, guys? The logics/physics and INFLATION hypothesis of the current model workd AGAINST the exotic DM 'narrative' and claims. I already explained elsewhere/often what it's all about. And exotic DM, BB, Inflation etc are now increasingly untenable based on newer/better astronomical observations/rethinks. :)

May 16, 2016
I use ellipsis for a reason.
To quote Caliban, "The present-day structure of the visible universe is the result of the ongoing era of attenuation -via expansion- of the Inflationary era."
Key phrase, IMHO, "attenuation -via expansion-".

May 17, 2016
Hi TehDog. :)

Relax, I read the whole context, so your ellipses were noted and acted upon.

Anyhow, the point is that claims of inflation/expansion causing the turbulence is counter-logical/physical. The BB HYPOTHESIS is NOT about a classical MATERIAL 'explosion' IN space, but purported to be a METRICAL inflation/expansion OF space.

And again I point out that Guth's Inflation hypothesis was supposed to be necessary to explain the 'snoothness/fltness' observations which the initial BB hypothesis did not 'explain'.

So you see, you can't have it both ways. Either the inflation/expansion smoothed out and dispersed hypothesized exotic DM, or there was no BB inflation/expansion at all; and said interpretations are incorrect.

Moreover, my infinte/eternal Jets-recycling process and re-distributions over the epochs produces all observed flatness/structure and processes, without need of exotic DM or BB/inflation etc 'fixes'.

Counters torbjorn's inconsistent 'explanations'. :)

May 18, 2016
How can be formed stars and galaxies through gravity which is not able to stop fast hypothetical expansion of the universe after the imaginary big bang for me remains a mystery for me
Well that's an easy one. Its like when you jump for joy when contemplating jesus the wondergod, you don't keep going up forever (except post-mortem), you slow, stop, and then fall back to earth in a mewling heap.

That's how gods laws work you know?

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