Scientists have been busy of late in the field of astronomy as they have discovered 39 galaxies. These galaxies are among the most ancient to have ever been discovered and they are moving at a considerable rate through space. Making older telescope technology inadequate to spot and track them.
Perception and its difficulties
Things work very differently in the far reaches of space. Our understanding of space-time is quite simple. The only things we can perceive are events that occur within three or four dimensions that are happening only in the present.
The only way humans can perceive space is through the detection of light. Objects like stars and gas clouds that emit light are extremely far away. Light years, in fact. This means that a distance that is many billions of miles away is more accurately calculated in how long does it take for light particles to travel the distance.
If a star is 1 light-year away, the light that telescopes pick up took one year to travel from that point to our planet, at a speed of 299.792 km per second. Light is amazing as it can travel at this insane speed. But this is actually a sorry excuse for speed in the grand scale of the universe. As astronomers are studying celestial bodies that are even millions of light-years away.
The readings that astronomers are currently getting from the 39 ancient galaxies are millions if not billions of years old. Making the readings extremely old news. With our current level of technology, we would need to wait many millions of years to find out what is happening today in those galaxies. As we rely on the speed of light to give us information.
The Hubble Space Telescope has been active since 1990. It has advanced the science of astronomy by a significant amount but it will be replaced in the next decade. Hubble was not built to detect the type of light these galaxies are emitting across time and space.
The ultraviolet, along with the visible form of light from the ancient galaxies have shifted through a form in the spectrum that Hubble can’t cope with. The speed and distance with which that galaxies are moving is also not helping astronomers detect their light streams.
Detecting the galaxies
The Spitzer Space Telescope has been employed to detect the submillimeter wavelengths of the light particles from the ancient galaxies. The telescope was mainly built to detect light on the infrared spectrum so it could not provide many details on the old light.
Because of this, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile was chosen to lend a hand in detecting the particles due to their superior capabilities in revealing submillimetre wavelengths.
The ancient galaxies will be a focal point for future studies as it has been theorized that such formations could have made the formation of newer galaxies possible. Future technology may be specially built for the study of the ancient faraway galaxies.
Brian Segora is just getting his start as a journalist. Brian attended a technical school while still in high school where he learned a variety of skills, from coding to web design. Apart from being a contributor to s4Tips, Brian also helps keep the site up and running, he also keeps our social media feeds up-to-date.