In the early cosmos, there was a gigantic galaxy supercluster.


The universe's structure is sometimes depicted as a cosmic web of filaments, nodes, and voids, with the nodes being clusters of galaxies, the biggest gravitationally linked objects known. Small-amplitude density fluctuations, such as those found in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), are assumed to have seeded these nodes, which developed until they collapsed into the formations visible today.While the CMB is well known, and the features of today's galaxy clusters are well defined, there aren't enough observations of the intermediary periods of development to restrict the theories. Traditional galaxy cluster searches presume that these objects have had enough time to equilibrate and that the intergalactic gas has heated up to the point where it may be identified in X-ray emission.

Astronomers utilize their intense infrared or submillimeter emission to discover more distant galaxies and protoclusters that are too weak to detect in the X-ray.The supercluster SPT234956, found by the South Pole Telescope in the submillimeter range, is so far away that its light has traveled for nearly twelve billion years. Over thirty submillimeter-bright galaxies and dozens of additional luminous and/or spectroscopically verified star-forming galaxies may be found there. It is one of the most active star-forming complexes known, creating approximately 10,000 stars per year. The merger of nearly twenty galaxies appears to be one of its luminous sources.

SPT234956, a submillimeter supercluster discovered by the South Pole Telescope, is so far away that its light has traveled approximately twelve billion years. There are around thirty submillimeter-bright galaxies there, as well as dozens of more luminous and/or spectroscopically validated star-forming galaxies. It is one of the most active star-forming complexes known, producing 10,000 stars per year. One of its bright sources looks to represent the merging of roughly twenty galaxies.

Matthew Ashby, a CfA astronomer, was part of a team that has recently completed extremely deep studies at optical and infrared wavelengths in order to determine star masses using spectral energy distribution (SED) analysis. They measured optical/near infrared flux using the Gemini and Hubble Space Telescopes, and infrared flux with Spitzer's IRAC camera. The multiple point sources observed must be matched to one another at all wavelengths in order to simulate the SEDs.

This is a difficult task, and the researchers explain how to achieve so while simultaneously addressing the problematic blending that can occur owing to insufficient spatial resolution in the infrared.The astronomers found that the stellar mass in this primordial cluster compared to its star formation rate is close to the value measured in nearby ("normal") galaxies, implying that the star formation processes at work are similar to those in the local universe, according to their findings published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The cluster does, however, indicate a deficiency in molecular gas, indicating that the turbulent period is coming to a close as the gaseous raw material for stars is dispersed.