Why the double find is important and what it means for the future of research. Two very old galaxies discovered: hidden by space dust.
Not a day goes by without sensational scientific discoveries being made regarding what we still don't know - which, in truth, is really a lot - about space. Scientists' detection tools have told us, for example, about a black hole storm, an event of colossal scope and capable of disrupting space. Formed 1.4 billion years after the Big Bang, the spiral galaxy was also one of the oldest known in the universe.
Now, however, the statistic doubles, because of galaxies, ancient and mysterious, we have discovered two. In one fell swoop and in a rather causal way. Here's what exactly happened.
Hidden ancient galaxies: what is the double discovery
The galaxies just entered in the database of scientists are older than the previous spiral galaxy. They are in fact dated within a time interval of 800 million years after the same occurrence of the Big Bang, which according to the hypothesis of scientists occurred 13 billion years ago. The galaxies were hidden behind a thick veil of space dust.
Their discovery, though accidental (it was as if a curtain had been lifted) has drawn scientists' attention to the veils of dust and what they hide from view from Earth: potential discoveries that could increase our knowledge of the sidereal depths.
Why the finding is important and what the discovery means for the future
The scientists who made the discovery were busy studying some of the nearby galaxies, which shine much brighter in ultraviolet (UV) light. The team explained in a study just published in Nature that the "Fortuitous discovery of these two dusty galaxies" at the edge of the universe "shows that our current UV-based census of the oldest galaxies is still incomplete." Those were the words of Yoshinobu Fudamoto, an astronomer at the Research Institute for Science and Engineering at Waseda University, Japan, who was surveying some nearby formations with his team at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).
Then the scientists' analysis tools suddenly pointed out the two galaxies located at the edges of space and time, in what was a welcome, if unexpected, discovery.