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UA leads discovery of elusive new galaxy

Galaxy may help us understand the early universe
Posted at 7:14 PM, Oct 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-31 22:14:52-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - There is big news out of the University of Arizona ---galactically big.

A team led by a UA scientist found two new galaxies and one of them helps us understand more about the early times of the universe.

They've nicknamed this galaxy the Yeti, because like the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, astronomers thought galaxies like it were an interesting myth without any evidence.

The official name of the galaxy is Three Millimeter-1 for the size of the radiation that gave it away.

The most striking picture of it is an artist's idea of how it looks.

That's because it was detected through light the human eye can't see.

A powerful radio telescope in the high desert of Chile helped UA Astronomer Christina Williams and her team pick the galaxy out of thick clouds of interstellar dust.

For Williams it's exciting just finding the galaxy but more exciting because this one is creating new stars two to three hundred times faster than the Milky Way, the galaxy we live in.

Dr. Williams says, “It tells us that galaxies are forming stars, much higher rates than they are now. And it tells us that galaxies grow in ways that maybe we don't fully understand in the very early universe."

The new galaxy could help us understand the early days of the universe because it is so far away what we detect here on Earth actually happened more than twelve billion years ago.

She says new ways to look at the universe like the upcoming James Webb Space telescope will help understand the new galaxies better.