It has recently come to light that researchers have discovered a spiral galaxy in the Universe that was formed 1.4 billion years after the Big Bang. In fact, the recently discovered spiral galaxy is the most ancient galaxy ever observed.
As reported by ALMA Observatory, researchers analyzed the data collected using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The research paper around the discovery has been published in the journal Science.
Takafumi Tsukui, a graduate student at SOKENDAI and the lead author of the research paper along with his supervisor Satoru Iguchi, a professor at SOKENDAI and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, noticed a galaxy called BRI 1335-0417 in the ALMA Science Archive.
“I was excited because I had never seen such clear evidence of a rotating disk, spiral structure, and centralized mass structure in a distant galaxy in any previous literature,” says Tsukui. “The quality of the ALMA data was so good that I was able to see so much detail that I thought it was a nearby galaxy.”
The report further states that galaxy existed 12.4 billion years ago and contained large amounts of dust, making it difficult for scientists to study the galaxy with visible light. However, ALMA is capable of detecting radio emissions from carbon ions in the galaxy, helping researchers investigate the galaxy.