National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Site of Galactic Cluster Formation 12.7 Billion Years Ago


Site of Galactic Cluster Formation 12.7 Billion Years Ago

This is a picture of a protocluster of galaxies discovered in the Universe of 12.7 billion years ago. Each of the red objects surrounded by a white circle is a galaxy which existed in space 12.7 billion years ago. The galaxies are crowded together in a small region. This shows that even in the early stages of the Universe, when it had not yet reached 1 billion years of age, the clustering of galaxies had already started. We are likely witnessing a very early stage of cluster formation.

Even though protoclusters are extremely rare celestial objects, this one was discovered through wide-field-of-view observations, which are the specialty of the Subaru Telescope. We expect even more discoveries with a new instrument, Hyper Suprime-Cam. It is thought that through observations of protoclusters we will find important clues to understanding galactic evolution and the formation of the structure of the Universe.

Text by: Jun Toshikawa (Subaru Telescope, NAOJ)
Translation by: Ramsey Lundock (NAOJ)

Image Data

RegionSubaru Deep Field (in the constellation Coma Berenices)
TelescopeSubaru Telescope
WavelengthsR band (650 nm), i band (770 nm), z band (900 nm); 3 color false-color composite: blue (R), green (i), red (z)
Exposure27 hours (R band), 28 hours (i band), 31 hours (z band)
DateFrom 2001 to 2008
CreditNational Astronomical Observatory of Japan


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