Ultra-sharp ALMA telescope spots distant galaxies at record speed

April 17, 2013 11:00 AM

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Ultra-sharp ALMA telescope spots distant galaxies at record speed

Researchers have presented new findings from the Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile which give new insight into the formation of early galaxies. Previously, scientists used the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope, which produced the best map to date but didn't provide enough resolution for researchers to be sure how many galaxies were depicted in the imagery. The team says that their results "form the first statistically reliable catalogue of dusty star-forming galaxies in the early universe."

ALMA's sharper results go beyond offering a prettier picture — they actually change our understanding of star formation. The team discovered that up to half of the time what APEX had rendered as a single blob represented multiple galaxies. "We previously thought the brightest of these galaxies were ...

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