National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

ALMA and Hubble Observations Probe a Giant Blob, Himiko, Seen Close to Cosmic Dawn

| Science

Combining the capabilities of two powerful telescopes, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have explored the nature of a mysterious huge object called “Himiko” in the early universe. The observations reveal that three primitive stellar clumps are about to be merged and forming a larger object. The observations provide an important insight of the earliest phase of galaxy formation at a time termed “Cosmic Dawn” when the universe was first bathed in starlight.

Artist’s rendition of Himiko that is based on the results from the observations of ALMA and Hubble Space Telescope. Himiko is mainly composed of clean primordial gas with a little amount of heavy elements.

The research findings are presented in the article “An Intensely Star-Forming Galaxy at z~7 with Low Dust and Metal Content Revealed by Deep ALMA and HST Observations” published in the Astrophysical Journal, Volume 778 of December 1, 2013.