2 years ago
NASA just discovered a galaxy cluster so far away from Earth that it set a new distance record for such discoveries.
Named CL J1001, the cluster is 11.1 billion light-years from Earth, and was found through multiple observations from space telescopes, including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The cluster’s core is made of eleven massive galaxies, nine of which are birthing stars at a rate equivalent to over 3,000 Suns forming per year.
This, more than its distance from Earth, is what makes this discovery so impressive. Tao Wang, a representative of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission who led the investigation of this discovery, said that “this galaxy cluster… [is] going through an amazing growth spurt unlike any we’ve ever seen.” In fact, the evidence suggests that CL J1001 was discovered shortly after its birth, and its discovery captures a stage of evolution we’ve never seen before.
Wang’s co-author Alexis Finoguenov agrees, saying that “we think we’re going to learn a lot about the formation of clusters and the galaxies they contain by studying this object.”
Read NASA’s official statement here.