An international team of researchers led by researchers at the University of California has discovered an unusual giant galaxy that was born about 12 billion years ago, when the universe was only 1.8 billion years old. The study was published recently in the astrophysical journal. The galaxy is named XMM-2599.
“By the time the universe was 2 billion years old, the XMM-2599 had a mass of more than 300 billion suns, making it a giant supergalaxy. “What’s more striking is that XMM-2599 gave birth to most of the stars in the galaxy before the universe was less than 1 billion years old, and then ceased to be active at the age of 1.8 billion,” said Benjamin Forrester, the paper’s first author and a researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside. “
The team found that XMM-2599, at its most active, produces more than 1,000 solar-mass stars each year, a very high rate of star formation. By contrast, the Milky Way produces about one new star each year. But it’s unclear why it suddenly stopped “pregnancy.” “Maybe it stops getting fuel or its black hole starts to work. Gillian Wilson, one of the authors of the paper and a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside, speculated.