Green Galaxies Might Hold Answers to Understanding the Universe

"Green galaxy"

Green galaxies, or dwarf galaxies, eject photons into the space surrounding them.

According to the latest studies, dwarf galaxies, or green galaxies might hold answers to understanding the universe. The astronomers think that they could be the key in explaining why the universe started heating itself a very long time ago.

The process that made the universe in the shape it is today is still unknown to astronomers, but a team of researchers from the Virginia University is trying to shed light on this matter by studying dwarf galaxies. It seems that green galaxies might hold answers to understanding the universe.

The Big Bang theory dictates that the universe was formed after a massive explosion. This left matter in a dense, hot state. After a couple of hundred thousand years later, it expanded and cooled down. This is when the first structures, clouds of helium and hydrogen that later on became the first stars, began to develop. But it appears that some significant time after the Big Bang (one billion years, to be more precise) something caused the universe to heat up again causing the hydrogen to become ionized.

An explanation of that sudden heating could lie in the green galaxies. The team from the Virginia University studied data that was gathered with the ultraviolet spectrometer of the Hubble Telescope and discovered interesting data regarding the dwarf galaxies.

It appears that the green galaxy that was studied by the team was surrounded by a high quantity of ionizing photons. These tiny particles released by the dwarf galaxies could be the answer that the astronomers were looking for seeing as they could cause reionization, a process that produces, among others, heat.

But the process in which the ionization leads to the production of actual heat involves a very serious amount of ionizing radiation. The dwarf galaxy that was analyzed cannot possible produce such a large quantity. But if the process only needs a green galaxy that releases photons into intergalactic space, then maybe the answer doesn’t lie in a single galaxy, but rather a cluster.

The team will continue to use NASA’s Hubble telescope in order to make additional observations to the process in which the photons are released into the intergalactic space, the manner of ejection being a focus for the team.

Hubble will have a successor that will be launched in 2018. The researchers will then use the James Webb Telescope to further analyze the capabilities of the dwarf stars. One thing is for certain, green galaxies might hold answers to understanding the universe.

Image source: www.wikimedia.org

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