The ancient disk-shaped galaxy Wolfe Disk formed 4.5 billion years earlier than previously thought

The Milky Way is a rotating disk-shaped galaxy that is fairly standard for its age,media reported. It is widely believed that galaxies formed this shape billions of years later, but now astronomers have discovered an ancient disk-shaped galaxy that formed at least 4.5 billion years earlier than previously thought.

The ancient disk-shaped galaxy Wolfe Disk formed 4.5 billion years earlier than previously thought

In today’s universe, many galaxies are fast-rotating disk-shaped galaxies. Models of galaxy formation suggest that these galaxies occurred about 6 billion years after the Big Bang. Until then, the universe was too turbulent.

“Most of the galaxies we found in the early universe looked like train wrecks because they experienced consistent, often ‘dramatic’ mergers,” said Marcel Neeleman, lead author of the study. “These heat combinations make it difficult to form an orderly cold disk, as we observe in the universe today. “

But now astronomers have discovered an ancient galaxy, and that’s what it seems to be. It is called DLA0817g, or Wolfe Disk, and looks like a modern disk galaxy, spinning at a speed of about 272 km/s (170 mph). But most importantly, it is located about 12.3 billion light-years from Earth.

Somehow, Wolfe Disk formed a disk 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang, 4.5 billion years earlier than expected. This finding suggests that unknown growth processes are at work. “We believe that Wolfe Disk is growing primarily through the steady proliferation of cold gases,” said J. Xavier Prochaska, co-author of the study. “However, one question remains as to how to assemble such a large gas mass while maintaining a relatively stable rotating disk while maintaining a relatively stable rotating disk.” “

The ancient disk-shaped galaxy Wolfe Disk formed 4.5 billion years earlier than previously thought

Wolfe Disk was discovered in 2017, when researchers were studying a quasar that appeared in the sky. The team observed that the star’s light was partially absorbed as it passed through the milky milky milky milkpack. More recently, they used the ALMA radio observatory to track its spin speed. Interestingly, these observations suggest that Wolfe Disk is not an ancient overspeed galaxy — which may have been quite normal for galaxies at the time.

“In fact, we found Wolfe Disk in this way, telling us that it belonged to the normal galaxy population that existed in the early days,” Neelleman said. “When we surprisingly showed it in rotation with ALMA’s latest observations, we realized that early disk galaxies were not as rare as we thought they would be, and there should be many more galaxies outside.” “

Finally, hubble looked at it in ultraviolet light and found that Wolfe Disk was forming extreme stars at a rate more than 10 times faster than the Milky Way (or 12.3 billion years ago). This, they say, could make it one of the most “productive” galaxies in the early universe.

The study was published in the journal Nature.