The ALHAMBRA project, led by researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía and in which the University of Valencia has participated, has identified and classified more than half a million galaxies, after seven years of close observation of the universe from the Observatory of Calar Alto (CAHA, Almería) and thanks to a technique that breaks the stars energy in their colors through astronomical filters.
In addition, this research has also allowed calculating the distances from these galaxies to us with unprecedented accuracy. ALHAMBRA (Advanced Large, Homogeneous Area Medium Band Redshift Astronomical survey) has a system of twenty filters covering all wavelengths in the optical and three filters in the infrared, which allows to accurately determine the energy emitted by galaxies and the distance of half a million galaxies with unprecedented depth for the sample size.
The ALHAMBRA mapping represents an ambitious scientific project that has mobilized scientists from sixteen research institutes. Led by Mariano Moles (CEFCA) and developed in the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), it was tailored designed to trace the universe evolution during the last ten million years. “ALHAMBRA represents a decisive step to board pressing issues in cosmology and astrophysics through photometric mapping, that allow getting the accuracy required to the distance of the detected objects,” Moles says. Thus, “the unbiased character of these mappings allows obtaining relevant data for all cosmic scales and, in this sense, the ALHAMBRA project is a precursor of the new long-range mapping that is being proposed,” the researcher adds.
Continue Learning: http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1113017069/alhambra-publishes-most-detailed-catalogue-galaxies-120213/
Infant Galaxies Merge Near ‘Cosmic Dawn’
November 21, 2013
Astronomers using the combined power of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile and NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have discovered a far-flung trio of primitive galaxies nestled inside an enormous blob of primordial gas nearly 13 billion light-years from Earth. It’s possible the trio will eventually merge into a single galaxy similar to our own Milky Way.
“This exceedingly rare triple system, seen when the universe was only 800 million years old, provides important insights into the earliest stages of galaxy formation during a period known as ‘cosmic dawn,’ when the universe was first bathed in starlight,” said Richard Ellis of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, a member of the research team.
Researchers first detected this object, which appeared to be a giant bubble of hot, ionized gas, in 2009. Dubbed Himiko (after a legendary queen of ancient Japan), it is nearly 10 times larger than typical galaxies of that era and comparable in size to our own Milky Way. Subsequent infrared observations with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope provided more clues about the object’s mass, suggesting Himiko might represent a single galaxy, which would make it uncharacteristically massive for that period of the early universe.
Continue Learning: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-338