Early Galaxy Was Dusty

March 2, 2015 8:03 PM

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Dust plays an extremely important role in the universe — both in the formation of planets and new stars. But dust was not there from the beginning and the earliest galaxies had no dust, only gas. Now, an international team of astronomers, led by researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, has discovered a dust-filled galaxy from the very early universe. The discovery demonstrates that galaxies were very quickly enriched with dust particles containing elements such as carbon and oxygen, which could form planets. The results are published in the scientific journal, Nature.

Cosmic dust are smoke-like particles made up of either carbon (fine soot) or silicates (fine sand). The dust is comprised primarily of elements such as carbon, silicon, magnesium, iron and oxygen. The elements are synthesized by the nuclear combustion process in stars and driven out into space when ...

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