Discovery of water in 12.88 billion year old galaxies
Chile: A global team of astronomers has discovered water in galaxies 12 billion 88 million years old, which shows that the existence of water in the universe is much older than we think.
It should be noted that water is considered as the basic and most important requirement for life. Therefore, one of the implications of this discovery was that from the very beginning of the universe, the essential elements for life began to form here.
The discovery was made using the Atacama Large Millimeter / Sub Millimeter Array (ALMA), an extensive network of 66 radio telescopes (radio interferometers) in Chile.
During their observations, the scientists observed the radio waves coming from the two ancient galaxies “SPT 0311-58” merging with each other.
This pair of galaxies existed only 780 million years after the Big Bang, 12.88 billion years before today. They are also considered one of the oldest galaxies in the universe.
Analysis of the radio waves coming from these galaxies revealed that they contained clear signs of water.
The study, published in the latest issue of the Astrophysical Journal, found that the pair of ancient galaxies were also undergoing massive star formation.
In addition to water, scientists have discovered carbon monoxide in one of the largest galaxies.
“Oxygen and carbon in particular are first-generation elements. In the case of water and carbon dioxide, they are crucial for the survival of life, “said Srivani Jarogula, an astronomer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
This discovery has certainly answered some questions about the origin of life, but it has also given rise to some new questions concerning the rapid formation of stars in the early universe.
In the “youth” of the universe, the vast clouds of gas and dust were combining at extraordinary speeds to form stars, and this speed of star formation was thousands of times faster than it is today.
But how did all this happen so fast? This question is a mystery that has been further complicated by the discovery of water about 13 billion years ago.