SPT0418-47: the Galaxy Located 12 Billion Years Away that Amazed Astronomers

A paper published on Wednesday has revealed that a galaxy bearing a striking resemblance to the Milky Way is located 12 billion years light away. The discovery has amazed scientists all over the world, and it changed their view of how the galaxies are formed.

The recently discovered galaxy was named SPT0418-47, and the study was published in Nature. The Universe was first spotted by a team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics with the help of the Atacama Large Millimeter/ submillimeter Array, which is part of the world’s most powerful telescopes.

However, even other telescopes, which might be even more powerful, struggle to capture images of objects located as far as 12 billion years away. Therefore, the scientists decided to use an effect entitled gravitational lensing, allowing the telescope to see all the details of SPT0418-47.

The galaxy looks like a near-perfect ring of light, an “Einstein Ring.” According to the scientists, the galaxy is quite “unchaotic,” contrary to the common beliefs which suggested that all young galaxies are unstable and turbulent when compared to more mature galaxies, such as our galaxy.

It came as a surprise for scientists to realize that the recently discovered galaxy is quite similar to ours. A baby galaxy like SPT0418-47 allowed astronomers to analyze the Universe at only 10% of what is today. Scientists even managed to reconstruct the image of the galaxy with the help of a brand-new computer modeling technique.

Scientists could not explain why did a well-ordered galaxy could have formed immediately after the Big Bang explosion, but they are sure that SPT0418-47 demonstrates that the Universe might be less chaotic than we have thought. Scientists are planning on determining the rarity of such baby discs in the near future, as well as get a better understating of the formation and evolution of our Universe.