Galaxy cluster stuns astronomers

2012-08-16 12:45

Washington - A massive so-called galaxy cluster, one of the largest structures in the universe, has been discovered about 5.7 billion light years from Earth and credited with setting several important new cosmic records, US-based researchers said.

The Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics said in a news release that observations of the cluster, which has shown a prodigious rate of star formation, may force astronomers to rethink how such colossal structures and galaxies that inhabit them evolve over time.

Known officially by an alphabet soup of numbers and letters as SPT-CLJ2344-4243, the cluster has been nicknamed "Phoenix", after the mythological bird that rose from the dead.

That's partly due to the constellation in which it lies. But Michael McDonald, a Hubble fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the Phoenix was also a great way of thinking about the latest astronomical marvel.

"While galaxies at the centre of most clusters may have been dormant for billions of years, the central galaxy in this cluster seems to have come back to life with a new burst of star formation," said McDonald, the lead author of the paper on Phoenix, appearing in Nature.

Star formation rate

Based on observations from Nasa's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the US National Science Foundation's South Pole Telescope and eight other observatories, researchers said the centre of the Phoenix cluster had been linked to the creation of about "740 solar masses" or stars a year.

By comparison, the Perseus cluster forms stars at a rate about 20 times slower than Phoenix.

"This is just an enormous rate," said Marie Machacek, an astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. She said huge clusters like Phoenix are thought to host thousands of galaxies and there was still a lot to learn about what goes on within them.

Super massive black holes in the central galaxy of a cluster have long been associated with low observed star formation rates, as they pump energy into the system and prevent the cooling of gases needed for the creation of stars.

But researchers said the "massive starburst" seen in Phoenix, as it gave birth to about two stars per day, suggested that its central galaxy's black hole had failed to interfere with an extremely strong cooling flow.

"Stars are forming in the Phoenix cluster at the highest rate ever observed for the middle of a galaxy cluster," the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics said in its press release.

"The object also is the most powerful producer of X-rays of any known cluster and among the most massive. The data also suggest the rate of hot gas cooling in the central regions of the cluster are the largest ever observed," it said.

  • charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-08-16 12:52

    Wow, God's Universe is awesome!

      mark.singh.9889 - 2012-08-16 13:09

      "You have set your glory in the heavens" Ps8:1

      Willie - 2012-08-16 13:43

      @ Bloodbane - who says the universe is 6000yrs old

      phae.rayden - 2012-08-16 13:54

      Isn't it, and he made it just for you and your crowd, how thoughtful of him.

      jody.beggs - 2012-08-16 14:10

      Actually if it were not for people without blind faith and refuse to believe like a child made this possible. Why do you not have faith in God to show you his wonders ?

      eddy.deepfield - 2012-08-16 14:13

      The reason the universe is so vast and amazing is because of the big bang. God would not need such a vast universe for mankind. If you brought the universe down in scale to that of a house, our earth would not even be a dust particle in that house. If you provided a home for your pet gold fish would you let it swim in a bowl the size of the Atlantic ocean. If you did you would be stupid because a bowl would have been ok. The vast universe proves that there was no god in its design because if there was he would have to be super intelligent and that kind of being would NEVER have over engineered a home for Adam and Eve.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-16 17:48

      @ MemeMan So true. But his comments here will be subjected to tight observation. He knows it. He NEVER has argumnents based on substance. He knows that too.

      khumza - 2012-08-16 18:22

      god's universe, what are you talking about you dumbtwit?, god's universe goes as far as 6000 years so how can it reach those billion light years away?, do you even comprehend whats been said here?.

      wordis.word.1 - 2012-08-17 07:34

      Charles dumbwin - You are the closest thing to satan I have ever come across.

  • KeeperofChaos - 2012-08-16 13:10

    Interesting. Keep in mind that the observation is 5.7b years old. What we se now has taken place that long ago and most probably the thing has imploded already. Let's wait another couple billion years then we will know for sure.

      KeeperofChaos - 2012-08-16 23:43

      Hence my use of the word "interesting", cause that is about as much as we will ever get from this information. Billions wasted looking into deep space, places far beyond our reach...... "Hey, we should launch a huge space mission to collect some fresh air, water and oil from deep space so that people 250 years from now can live a normal life on earth when it hopefully returns. Maybe aliens will return with the mission so we can make alien FB buddies". Just imagine your first alien FB friend... it will sure 'trend' as well no doubt....

      wordis.word.1 - 2012-08-17 07:42

      Why can we only look back into time and not forward?

      wordis.word.1 - 2012-08-17 12:50

      Something profound is going on here....

  • ivan.haylock.1 - 2012-08-16 13:23

    "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities..have been clearly are without excuse." Romans 1:18-20

  • craig.a.salter - 2012-08-16 13:26

    Another big bang

  • annelize.lightfoot.1 - 2012-08-16 13:32

    It is all about the big bang theory, 1 cel turn into billions.

  • annelize.lightfoot.1 - 2012-08-16 13:37

    It's all about the big bang theory. 1 cel turned into billions.

  • thando.gqabaza - 2012-08-16 13:38

    Wonder how many galaxies are part of the cluster ? I'm sure that there's a Type 2 civilization in there some where

      leon.scheepers.58 - 2012-08-16 13:46

      Science and religion cannot be aligned - we are talking science (fact) lets keep religion (fiction) out of this.

  • annelize.lightfoot.1 - 2012-08-16 13:59

    I think that we can't even comprehend on what else is out there in the Universe. I think it's exciting and God is amazing!!Without God, science would not have even be possible. FACT!!! LOOK AROUND YOU!!

      jody.beggs - 2012-08-16 14:12

      @annelize.lightfoot.1 "Without God, science would not have even be possible" No without Scientists there would be no science. I religion had not held us back , we would have been much further along. Religion hates open minds , think Galileo , evolution etc ... Its must be nice to live a delusion....

      Quantronium - 2012-08-16 14:20

      You stupid or what?. without God there is nothing. Not just science

      CaptainGaza - 2012-08-16 14:56

      Quantronium, that's quite a statement, who taught you that? Please provide evidence that without god there would be nothing.

  • rdeloca - 2012-08-16 14:04

    Let's not view the universe through the distorting lens of our own arrogance.

  • CaptainGaza - 2012-08-16 14:08

    a god fart perhaps?

  • duanedrop - 2012-08-16 14:15

    The universe is one giant crap shoot with a dice that has infinite sides. Life goes on is just one of those sides.

  • annelize.lightfoot.1 - 2012-08-16 14:24

    @DamTheMan Don't let my comments upset you! This is a free world to freedom of speech. I am entitled to mine and you stick to yours.

      phoenix.px.5 - 2012-08-18 07:16

      Yes there is no law against stupidity.

  • Quantronium - 2012-08-16 14:24

    Wow, that's really really rrrrrrrrrr really far away

  • lwando.kondlo - 2012-08-16 15:12

    @Bloodblane light years is a distance while years is age.

      scott.kirby.752 - 2012-08-16 16:33

      Yes light years is a measure of distance but since we can see this light it means it's taken 5.7 billion years to get here...

  • bronwyn.devilliers.9 - 2012-08-16 17:28

    Genesis 1vs1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Our God is indeed an awesome God.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-08-16 18:10

      @ bronwyn.devilliers.9 Be consistent. Explain the need for the awesome god you mention, to have actually experimented with wild animals and birds to find a suitable mate Eve) for Adam. Bear in mind the imperative of successful procreation. Don't run. So far no believer had the guts to tackle the conundrum. Many more to come, incidentally. Just want the message around the currently mentioned one in this comment to sink in properly. You up to the challenge? Read the following. Authentic. 18 Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’ 19So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man* there was not found a helper as his partner. 21So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman,* for out of Man* this one was taken.’ 24Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

      carmen.erlebach - 2012-08-17 15:44

      "What is important is that there was a big bank".... A big bank eh? Sounds about right - God loves money!

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-08-16 18:18

    WTF man I can't even enjoy an article on space without some cluster F religious nutters spoiling it for me.

      KeeperofChaos - 2012-08-16 23:02

      "When the solution is simple, God is answering." - Albert Einstein

      KeeperofChaos - 2012-08-16 23:09

      I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details. - Albert Einstein

      KeeperofChaos - 2012-08-16 23:10

      "God is subtle but he is not malicious." - Albert Einstein

      paulthebok - 2012-08-17 10:20

      @ Meme More for you .... "In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognise, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support for such views.". (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, p. 214) "As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene....No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life." --Albert Einstein “The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior Reasoning Power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible Universe, forms my idea of God.” (Einstein, as cited in Libby Anfinsen 1995).

      paulthebok - 2012-08-17 10:46

      @Meme LMAO ... here's a real pearl from another one of your HEROS ... lol ... so funny!!! Dawkins is a fraud! I'd ask for a refund on all those books you bought of his, LMAO!!! What a fool!!!

      mark.beeld - 2012-08-17 12:13

      Paul, Einstein was a Spinozist. And no, it's not a pizza flavour, it's a philosophical view of God, pretty close to deism....

      paulthebok - 2012-08-17 13:14

      @Meme I'l start at the end of your reply ... "Now - our homework, you numbskull, is to go and find this signature. Jeeeeeezus, but you're dof.' TYPICAL!!! , Meme does this statement some how make you feel good about yourself, does it empower you, does it further your agenda, is it scientific, do you think you'd score points on a debating platform with remarks like that ? No Meme , IT'S JUST WEAK , a feeble attempt to elevate yourself above me , WELL BRAVO Meme you are the genius , you hold all the answers to life on earth in that GREAT MIND of yours, it must feel so great to be YOU!!! NO !!! actually as I've said before ... you are no more than a pseudo-intellectual bully , so give yourself a pat on the back , you put me in my place, NOT!! You see Meme, your tactic is well documented, atheists use it all the time, whenever they are cornered they resort to insults and ridicule, they avoid the reality of the debate and go into full blown attack mode, they do this because when confronted by a reasonable argument they can NOT dispute with proof, facts or evidence there is only one way out for them, CALL INTO QUESTION YOUR OPPONENTS INTELLIGENCE, he is but a fool for having a diverse opinion ... lol ... you are the fool, a weak little man , devoid of substance!! Yes Meme I am "dof" , so says the GREAT MEME!

      paulthebok - 2012-08-17 13:53

      @Meme Ok lets examine the BS drivel of your reply> You say ... "If course - he was born in the 1800's, in the Victorian era; with all of the stern religious mind-virus meme's having their aggressive way, with vicious sanctions against anyone who attempted to stand against them; in the infancy of evolutionary science" Now this is an absurd statement, I'll tell you why, Meme do you know where Darwin is buried? in Westminster Abbey, yes in one of our Christian oldest churches, at the time of Darwin's death Einstein was only 3 years old, so we were burying Darwin in one of our holy places in 1882, but Einstein couldn't speak freely for fear of reprisal in lets say the 1920's,30's,40's and 50's , yeah we would have burnt him at the stake. Further more, Einstein's statement on his beliefs , as to not believing in a "personal God" are well documented, did we persecute him for those statements, below I will expose you folly with a link that lists many early 19th century atheists, yes we burnt them all at the stake. Meme , your attempted deceit is laughable, you are laughable! Links to early atheists ...

      jody.beggs - 2012-08-17 14:08

      @paulthekok. "LMAO ... here's a real pearl from another one of your HEROS ... lol ... so funny!!! Dawkins is a fraud! I'd ask for a refund on all those books you bought of his, LMAO!!! " Didn't you read the quote from Einstein that MemeMan Posted. Guess not quoting a lie is still just a lie , but being xian that does not bother you. You think Jesus want's you to lie for him ! Your an idjit for not being able to see the whole picture and picking quots that seem correct to your world view , *face palm*. You'd rather just "believe" you are right , f#$% every one else. Just like all the other xians. Why don't you have enough faith to move mountains ? Are you a real xian without that kind of faith ?

      paulthebok - 2012-08-17 14:22

      @Meme Moving on... You say..."Do you understand the meaning of certain words... or are you so blinded by your prejudice that you just gloss over them...? > "possibility" as opposed to "probability"? > "Might" as opposed to "Will"? " Yes Meme we understand these words fully, we hear them ... might, could be, most likely, if , possibly, probably, more than likely, assume, proposition, conclusion ect ect ect ... yes these words can be found to be used many times over in your BB and Evolution theories and supporting science papers , PLEASE NOTE !!! I did NOT say all science!!! So yes I'l take my meds, watch my TV and drive my car , yes some science delivers rock solid EVIDENCE that we use everyday ....BUT ...your theories are just FULL OF SUPPOSITION!! Next .... Oh so Dawkins was ..." badgered by the interviewer" LOL ... Meme, Dawkins has being interviewed 100's or even 1000's of times, so stein baggered him , WHERE? ...I din't see no badgering, Stein was asking questions in a cool soft civilized manner , lol , EXCUSES EXCUSE , you are SOOOOO funny! Like I said ....ASK FOR YOUR MONEY BACK, your high priest of atheism has lost the PLOT !!! It made my day ... best youtube find EVER!!!! You can TRY to explain that clip away anyway you like, but YOU and Dawkins will never EVER be able to explain it away , a real brain fart!! Wait soon Dawkins will be selling you a book on your Alien God and tell you he has no rules and laws, and that he met him while tripping on acid!

      paulthebok - 2012-08-17 14:42

      @Jody So I'm an idiot , lol, coming from you that's rich, you are the biggest idiot here, so you know the saying... "it takes one to know one" , see we have something in common, we both idiots! As for your rant on the quotes, do you see Meme posting Einstein quotes that are positive to God, Jesus or Religion? No, so I'll post them for him , there are way more favorable to God quotes from Einstein than there are negative one's, Meme love using that one , I love the one about ...'no myth has such life" ... so each to our own! Jody , this one takes the cake ... "You'd rather just "believe" you are right , f#$% every one else. Just like all the other xians." Back at you ...biatch!! You'd rather just "believe" you are right , f#$% every one else. Just like all the other atheists." You such a chop!! Well thanks for the laugh anyway!

      paulthebok - 2012-08-17 15:08

      @ The Mark I know of Einstein's belief in "Spinoza's God" , and yes even if you couldn't bring yourself to say it, which I find quite strange, you being an agnostic and all, it does entail a belief in a deity, although it be a different interpretation of a deity. Your reference to pizza, is not needed, maybe you intended it as humor, from what I've read into you from your comments on these debates, you mostly seem like a decent chap, I respect your views even if they are not in line with mine, so please don't be like these atheists like Meme and Jody , they are weak and need to resort to insults and ridicule, from what I've gathered about you, you have more integrity than that, so please don't stoop to their level, it's beneath you!

      paulthebok - 2012-08-17 15:36

      @meme, ok thanks for withdrawing you insults, But you start with this, "It is unbecoming of me to be rude" no Meme you are well known for this and I have told you so MANY TIMES and it is not really necessary, you see we can disagree and hold opposing views but it doesn't have to be ugly, so sorry! Meme, this statement of mine was not intended for you ... "What a fool!!!" , it was meant for Dawkins , so if you read it as to me calling you a fool , I apologize! NO WAIT ... I read further , you go on , I'm uneducated, ugly ...blah blah blah , ACTUALLY you are a FOOL , you talk about FACTS , but that's all you can do talk, about them , bring us some of these SO CALLED FACTS ... I dare you! Meme, you can hide behind your anonymity , and insult as much as you like , but boet you wouldn't dare to open your big mouth if we were to come face to face, and you being the guy who believes in the impossible, should realise that nothing is impossible!

      KeeperofChaos - 2012-08-17 17:41

      Well, it seems it was all lies regarding Albert's religious views, you were right. Sure I also commend his contributions to science and even today with our technological advances people challenge his theories and find that he was right after all; with regards to science :) Yet, I can't get myself to believe that after 13.7 billion years of the existence of known matter and the laws of physics, that we are granted an average of say 65 years, to live and do as we please, that birth is the ultimate beginning and death the ultimate end, all thanks to carbon, amino acids/protein and water, that the necessary code for life was printed on a carbon atom, either during the 'big bang' or during the creation of stars. Lost, in your view, as I might be in my religion, I believe in God and life after death, nothing will change that. The same goes for you and your views and everyone else who bothered to comment on this article. To get back to my earlier comment that I made about this 'find' being a waste of time I trully feel that it is. As interesting as it might be, and I do find it marvelous, I just think that it is a waste of resources considering the troubles we face here on earth. To name a couple : fish/fresh water and oil reserves being depleted. We have an estimated 120 years left before oil is depleted. What will we use then for fuel? Biofuel is not a viable alternative. What will happen to fishing communities. We face increased flooding and droughts in all the wrong places....

      KeeperofChaos - 2012-08-17 17:53 I taking these issues to seriously? I just see billions and billions of dollars going up into the air towards deep space research with no immediate benefit. As outrageous as this might seem, I see the Mad Max plot play out in 200 years time, people fighting over whatever resources they can get their grubby hands on. Extreme yes, but considering the population explosion and depletion of resources, is it that far fetched? I just want us to get our priorities straight.

      KeeperofChaos - 2012-08-17 19:09

      Meme - thank you for sharing your insight. I sure won't be around then, well physically anyway :) , to see how things pan out in future, I hope my prediction never comes to light and that humanity will sort their cr@p out. I think we are in over our heads on this one. It's easy to adopt a no-care attitude and turn a blind eye to the things that go wrong around us. But anyway, seeing as how I dig to debate things, perhaps I should have written an article :) Love and peace people!

      Gareth - 2012-08-18 14:20

      Oh look, paulthebok being an idiot again. What a surprise

      jody.beggs - 2012-08-20 08:22

      @paulthekok. Xians seem to like to lie for some reason. Must be the fact they just need to believe for things to be true. Sad really. Next time do research. "Ah, this is what I mean about religion and science going hand-in-hand! Each has a place, but each must be relegated to its sphere. Let's assume that we are dealing with a theoretical physicist or scientist who is very well-acquainted with the different laws of the universe, such as how the planets orbit the sun and how the satellites in turn orbit around their respective planets. Now, this man who has studied and understands these different laws-how could he possibly believe in one God who would be capable of disturbing the paths of these great orbiting masses?" "No, the natural laws of science have not only been worked out theoretically but have been proven also in practice. I cannot then believe in this concept of an anthropomorphic God who has the powers of interfering with these natural laws. As I said before, the most beautiful and most profound religious emotion that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. And this mysticality is the power of all true science. If there is any such concept as a God, it is a subtle spirit, not an image of a man that so many have fixed in their minds. In essence, my religion consists of a humble admiration for this illimitable superior spirit that reveals itself in the slight details that we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds." See you in hell buddy

  • shawn.roux.7 - 2012-08-17 12:36

    The amazing thing is, in the one corner you have the evolutionists, who claim that religion is suppresive by nature and that it is 'forced' upon people (ironically this is what the educational system and some evolutionists do as well) in the other corner you have creationists, whom all claim to have truth, when truth by isnt nature cannot be relative. i.e. If whats true for you is true for you, and whats true for me is true for me, what if my truth says yours is a lie, who is right? Evolutionists or creationist, no one can claim to have been in the universe at its begining, therefore, if light was already at its current destination as opposed to having to travel there first, it is safe to say that using light as an indication for the age of the universe is flawed.

      Desilusionada - 2012-08-17 13:27

      @shawn, it is safe to say that using light as an indication for the age of the universe is flawed. I am afraid that, though I might believe in a fairy in the sky, your reasoning/comment (as is most of your ilk), is illogical, flawed, outdated and irrelevant. If you, or anyone wants to comment on articles such as this, please make sure that, though you may not have a degree in eg Physics, that you are at least conversant (logically and intellectually), in Evolution, Astronomy, Mathematics (basic), Religion, Botany, Chemistry and Philosophy. Not either/or but all.

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