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Milky Way Galaxy Lookalike Found More Than 12 Billion Light-Years Away

MILKY WAY GALAXY LOOKALIKE – A Milky Way Galaxy lookalike which is more than 12 billion light-years away, was discovered by astronomers.

This image shows the galaxy’s true shape after researchers used ALMA data and computer modeling to reconstruct it. | Image from: CNN

According to CNN, the astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array of telescopes or (ALMA), which is based in Chile, in order to find the galaxy located more than 12 billion light-years away.

This also means that the light from the said galaxy has traveled for more than 12 billion years to reach us. In other words, we’re seeing the gaxaxy as it appeared when the universe was only 1.4 billion years old.

The image of the galaxy and accompanying study about it was published  in the journal Nature.

It also challenged the theory that galaxies were likely just as unstable as they formed during the tumultuous early years of the universe.

At the same time, this also changes how astronomers understand galaxy formation as well as the early days of the universe.

“This result represents a breakthrough in the field of galaxy formation, showing that the structures that we observe in nearby spiral galaxies and in our Milky Way were already in place 12 billion years ago,”

This was a statement from Francesca Rizzo, study author and postdoctoral student at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany.

Named SPT0418-47, the galaxy has two hallmarks of the Milky Way Galaxy, which include its rotating disk-like structure as well as the bulge.

The bulge refers to a large group of stars corralled around the galaxy’s center. SPT0418-47’s bulge has never been seen this far back in the history of the universe.

“The big surprise was to find that this galaxy is actually quite similar to nearby galaxies, contrary to all expectations from the models and previous, less detailed, observations,”

This came from Filippo Fraternali, study coauthor and professor of gas dynamics and evolution of galaxies at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Based on the report, studying SPT0418-47 will allow astronomers to essentially peer back in time to the early years of the universe.

What do you think of this report? How will you react to this? Let us know more about it in the comments below.

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