15-Year Mystery Of Giant Green Space Blobs Solved

22 September 2016, 10:01 am EDT By Kalyan Kumar Tech Times
Astronomers have resolved the mystery behind the light emitting phenomenon in space globs. The picture shows turquoise-tinted plumes as a large magellanic cloud and captured by the Hubble telescope.  ( ESA/Hubble & NASA | Flickr )

The long-standing mystery related to shining, distant objects in the universe known as Lyman-alpha blobs (LABs) is now resolved.

A new research has debunked many previous assumptions and gave conclusive explanations on why lights emit from these hydrogen clouds, which are regarded as cosmic nurseries by many scientists.

Light years away from the Earth, these blobs have been glowing brightly by throwing out ultra violet radiations and had been baffling astronomers.

According to a release by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the cosmic mystery now stands resolved. Many studies in the past, including the one in 2011, suggested that hidden galaxies were behind the glow.

The new research has found that two big galaxies present in the blob's core are responsible for the glow, further surrounded by a series of smaller galaxies.

The study understood that a frenzy of star formation is taking place inside the blobs. This is what lights up the whole surrounding and indicates the making of a cluster of galaxies.

The findings were published (PDF) in Astrophysical Journal with new updates on the blobs' shining nature. A computer simulation of the telescope data further explained how a LAB shines and how it is perceived by others.

"Think of a streetlight on a foggy night — you see the diffuse glow because light is scattering off the tiny water droplets," said Jim Geach, the study's lead researcher from the University of Hertfordshire.

For the new study, the astronomers used a combination of advanced telescopes and computer simulations to trace the blobs' glow. Serious studies on the glowing properties of space blob started in 2000, which are billions of light-years away from Earth.

The credit for cracking the mystery goes to advanced equipment that was used in surveying the blob's central galaxies, such as Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the ESO in Chile.

Significance Of The Study

The new study has made a definite headway with clues on how cosmic nurseries have contributed to the birth of large galaxies. News about a distant galaxy was duly covered by Tech Times.

There is hope that new insights deduced from Lyman-alpha radiation will galvanize the studies on galaxy formation.

"The really exciting thing is that the Lyman-alpha is telling us about what's going on in the immediate environment around the young galaxies," Geach told the Astronomy magazine.

Photo: ESA/Hubble & NASA | Flickr

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