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2 Ancient galaxies only changed everything we know about the universe

Astronomers who probe deep into space are finding galaxies full of stars in a place they did not expect, changing everything we thought we knew about the beginning of the universe.

Current thinking holds that the first galaxies, which formed hundreds of millions of years after the Big Bang, would look more like today's dwarf galaxies, smaller collections of stars that are companions of larger galaxies, with only a few billion stars, perhaps eventually merging into larger galaxies.

The focus of this discovery is based on the finding of two giant galaxies located in a sector of space that is determined to be only 780 million years old, when our universe was only about five percent of its current age.

Galaxies are a point of interest, but even stranger is the structure that houses – yes, it envelops these clusters – a dark matter envelope that surpasses our Sun several billion times.

The two galaxies are very close to this matter, at a shorter distance than that between Earth and the center of our galaxy; the two will eventually merge to form the largest galaxy ever observed at its point in the history of the universe.

"With these exquisite ALMA observations, astronomers are seeing the most massive galaxy known in the first billion years of the universe in the process of assembling," said Dan Marrone, l author ead and associate professor of the University of Arizona.

We usually see that as the time of the small galaxies working hard to chew in the neutral intergalactic medium … The montage of observational evidence with ALMA, however, has helped to reshape that story and continues to delay the moment when truly massive the galaxies first emerged in the universe. "

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