Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Astronomers release spectacular survey of the distant universe

01.07.2016

Astronomers at The University of Nottingham have released spectacular new infrared images of the distant Universe, providing the deepest view ever obtained over a large area of sky. The team, led by Omar Almaini, Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Physics and Astronomy, is presenting their results at the National Astronomy Meeting taking place this week at the University's Jubilee Campus.

The final data release from the Ultra-Deep Survey (UDS) maps an area four times the size of the full Moon to unprecedented depth. Over 250,000 galaxies have been detected, including several hundred observed within the first billion years after the Big Bang. Astronomers around the world will use the new images to study the early stages of galaxy formation and evolution.


An image of a small section (0.4 percent) of the UDS field. Most of the objects in the image are very distant galaxies, observed as they were over 9 billion years ago. In the full image, 250,000 galaxies have been detected over an area of sky four times the size of the full moon.

Please credit: Omar Almaini, University of Nottingham.

The release of the final UDS images represents the culmination of a project that began taking data in 2005. The scientists used the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) on Hawaii to observe the same patch of sky repeatedly, building up more than 1,000 hours of exposure time. Observing in the infrared is vital for studying the distant Universe, as ordinary starlight is "redshifted" to longer wavelengths due to the cosmological expansion of the Universe.

Because of the finite speed of light, the most distant galaxies are also observed very far back in time.

Professor Almaini, said: "With the UDS we can study distant galaxies in large numbers, and observe how they evolved at different stages in the history of the Universe. We see most of the galaxies in our image as they were billions of years before the Earth was formed."

The UDS is the deepest of five projects, collectively known as the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS).

Earlier releases of data from the UDS have already produced a wide range of scientific advances, including studies of the earliest galaxies in the first billion years after the Big Bang, measurements of the build-up of galaxies through cosmic time, and studies of the large-scale distribution of galaxies to weigh the mysterious 'dark matter' that pervades the cosmos. The added depth from the new release is expected to produce many new breakthroughs.

Dr David Maltby, a postdoctoral research fellow at The University of Nottingham whose research focusses on morphological evolution of galaxies, said: "Here in Nottingham we are aiming to understand how galaxies evolved to produce the rich diversity we see today. For example, we still don't understand why the most massive galaxies are usually elliptical in shape, while less massive galaxies tend to be disk-shaped with spiral arms. By looking back in time to the early Universe we can catch these galaxies in their infancy, and observe them as they change and evolve over many billions of years."

###

Images are available.

An image of a small section (0.4 per cent) of the UDS field. Most of the objects in the image are very distant galaxies, observed as they were over 9 billion years ago. In the full image, 250,000 galaxies have been detected over an area of sky four times the size of the full Moon.

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/astronomy/UDS/gallery/gallery-hidden.html

Please credit: Omar Almaini, University of Nottingham.

UKIRT

The 3.8-metre United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) is the world's second largest telescope dedicated to infrared astronomy. UKIRT is sited near the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, at an altitude of 4,194 metres (13,760 feet) above sea level. The telescope was owned and operated by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council until 2014, when ownership transferred to the University of Hawaii.

UKIDSS

The UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) is a large astronomical project that began in 2005, using most of the available observing time on the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT). UKIDSS consists of 5 separate surveys, from shallow mapping of large areas of sky to deeper studies of the distant Universe. The UDS is the deepest of the UKIDSS surveys.

Lindsay Brooke | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: Big Bang Galaxies Telescope astronomy distant galaxies massive galaxies

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold
26.06.2017 | Toyohashi University of Technology

nachricht A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
23.06.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>