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Dark galaxies of early universe spotted for first time.

Washington, November 1 ( ANI ): Dark galaxies - galaxies with few if any stars and made predominately of dense gas - have been impossible to detect directly- until now.

An international team of astronomers, using the European Southern Observatory's 8.2-meter Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, has now detected several dark galaxies by observing the fluorescent glow of their hydrogen gas illuminated by the ultraviolet light of a nearby quasar.

The galaxies detected by the team are nearly 11 billion light years away, which means they existed at an early time in the 13.7 billion-year-old

Universe.

Dark galaxies are thought to be the building blocks of modern-day star-forming galaxies, either through mergers with star-forming galaxies, or by feeding them gas along filaments that connect the Universe's galaxies in a kind of cosmic web.

Three members of the team that made the detection spoke recently with The Kavli Foundation in a roundtable discussion about how they made the discovery, what it means, what questions are still unanswered, and what they plan next.

They are Sebastiano Cantalupo - Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the Astronomy and Astrophysics Department, Martin Haehnelt - Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics, Institute of Astronomy and the Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge and Simon Lilly - Professor of Observational Cosmology, Institute for Astronomy at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. ( ANI )

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Nov 1, 2012
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