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Young Galaxies Are Surrounded By Bizarre “Cocoons”

Carbon is a ubiquitous molecule in our Universe at present—it is in people, planets, plants, and stars. However, there wasn’t a single molecule of carbon when the Big Bang has taken place. Actually, the molecule came to life after the stars started nuclear fusion. For long, astronomers have pondered how the carbon dispersed eventually across the cosmos and the mystery could be possibly resolved with the help of gaseous carbon “cocoons” recently found around the young galaxies.

The discovery of the carbon cocoons surrounding the galaxies was made by the researchers with the assistance of Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. These galaxies are so remote that the observations date to merely 1 billion years following the Big Bang. The radius of the cocoons is determined to be 30,000 light-years and they signify the foremost substantiation that stars within the early Universe formed carbon that dispersed further than their galaxies.

The cocoons cannot be elucidated with the Universe’s existing theoretical models, but already a few thoughts have been flowing through the minds of the ALMA team. Researcher Rob Ivison said, “Heavy elements created within the stars are driven out during supernova explosions at their stellar life’s final stage. Radiation and energetic jets from supermassive black holes in the galaxies’ core could also aid in moving carbon out of the galaxies and eventually all over the Universe. We’re observing this enduring diffusion process, the most primitive environmental pollution in the cosmos.”

Likewise, the light of a huge galaxy observed only 970 million years following the Big Bang is being spotted by astronomers utilizing the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Named MAMBO-9, this galaxy is the farthest dusty star-forming galaxy, which has ever been spotted without the assistance of a gravitational lens. Study Lead Author, from the University of Texas at Austin, Caitlin Casey, said, “These galaxies are likely to conceal in plain sight. We discern they are present there, but they aren’t straightforward to locate as their starlight is concealed in dust clouds.”

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