An international team, with the participation of the Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA) researcher Ana Afonso and led by IA’s collaborator David Sobral (University of Lancaster), presented one of the largest 3D maps of the Universe in its infancy, in which about four thousand young galaxies have been discovered.
In this work, published online in two papers1 and presented in the European Week of Astronomy and Space Sciences (EWASS), the team observed on different wavelenghts, to calculate the redshift2 of these galaxies. By this mean, it obtained several windows for 16 different periods in the history of the Universe, between 11 and 13 billion years ago, meaning between 7% and 13% of the Universe’s current age.
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- The papers were published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society on February 9th and February 14th.
- The redshift is a property of electromagnetic waves similar to the change in sound heard when an ambulance moves away from us (the so-called Doppler effect). This effect occurs in (light and sound) waves when the velocity of the object moving away from us increases the wavelenght. It can, therefore, be used as a measure of the distance, since the larger the redshift of the object (a galaxy, for example), the more distant and farther back in time it is.