'Earliest galaxies in universe identified'

At 13 billion years old the galaxies began to form

This discovery is about as exciting as coming across the earliest human remains, said Professor Carlos Frenk from the U.K.'s Durham University, in a statement.

The research group gave to the world their findings, and apparently, Ursa Major I, Bootes I, Segue-1 and Tucana II are some of the first formed galaxies as they are more than 13 billion years old.

Cosmologists believe that the very first atoms formed when the Universe was about 380,000 years old. These were hydrogen atoms.

In the 100 million years that followed the creation of the first atoms - a period referred to by astronomers as the "cosmic dark ages" - the hydrogen slowly cooled and settled into vast haloes made up of dark matter. This lasted for about 100 million years. In due course, the gas inside those halos, which had cooled, started getting unstable and creating stars.

Two populations of galaxies orbiting the Milky Way were identified by the research team.

After the galaxies were formed, the once dark Universe lighted up, ending the cosmic dark ages.

According to Durham University, the ancient dwarf galaxies surrounding the Milky Way are grouped into two separate populations, depending on the characteristics of their luminosity function. It would take nearly 100 million years longer for the universe to cool enough that the atoms could clump together to form stars that populated the very first galaxies.

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But this isn't science fiction: Astronomers down here on Earth discovered some of the oldest galaxies in the universe, a new study says.

Dr Bose explained: "One could think that, maybe some of these pre-reionisation galaxies are more compact than their counterparts that formed afterwards".

"Our finding supports the current model for the evolution of our Universe, the "Lambda-cold-dark-matter model" in which the elementary particles that make up the dark matter drive cosmic evolution". That way, the gas couldn't easily cool down, which would result in new stars being formed. "These atoms collected into clouds and began to cool gradually and settle into the small clumps or "halos" of dark matter that emerged from the Big Bang".

Scientists found evidence that the faintest satellite galaxies orbiting the earth's Milky Way galaxy are among the earliest galaxies in the universe.

As per report in BBC, professor Carlos Frenk explained that given they are some of the earliest galaxies in the universe and they formed in a unique way, they should contain some unique properties that would describe them. The universe then plunged into its next cosmological phase, dubbed the reionization period, when the larger and brighter galaxies began to take shape - all "culminating in the formation of spectacular bright galaxies like our own Milky Way", sates Dunham University.

"If you go and examine these primitive galaxies, you should find weird things about them. They were formed at a time when the Universe was much denser, because the Universe was smaller". When stars go supernova, they pollute the galactic environment with their chemical constituents. Nevertheless, the availability of different elements in the cosmos has changed since.

As a effect, the process of galaxy formation ground to a halt and no new galaxies were able to form for the next billion years or so.

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