The Canadian Press

14 galaxies set to collide and form colossal cluster

Astronomers say this could be the largest structures in the universe

Astronomers have discovered the beginnings of what they say is a gigantic cosmic pileup that could someday form one of the largest structures in the universe.

The team of Canadian and international scientists say they used a powerful telescope to detect the “impending collision of 14 young, starbursting galaxies” that will become a massive galaxy cluster.

RELATED: Star Gazing: Mars, the wet planet

The research, published in the journal Nature, says the so-called protocluster or group of galaxies is 12.4 billion light years away — suggesting its light began travelling to Earth when the universe was 1.4 billion years old.

One of the researchers, astrophysicist Scott Chapman of Dalhousie University, says the discovery challenges conventional understanding of how structures form in the universe since it happened so quickly and in a space only about three times the size of the Milky Way.

RELATED: B.C. space sleuth discovers NASA satellite not a ‘piece of space junk’

Until now, astronomers had theorized that protoclusters as large as this one would have taken much longer to form.

Chapman says it gives them the opportunity to study how galaxy clusters come together in extreme environments characterized by hot, ionized gas.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Pulled cattle guards going back in place despite B.C. Interior First Nations moose hunt protest

Forests minister Donaldson and TNG Chief Alphonse discuss situation, agree on path forward, ministry says

UBCM passes historic resolution brought forth by CCRD

If the resolution is successfully realized, it will mean groundbreaking change for local governments

TNG block roads, question gov’t on moose hunt

Chief Joe Alphonse confirmed Thursday they’ve deactivated the Raven Lake Road and the Mackin Creek Road just before the Island Lake turnoff

Bella Coola RCMP appeal for public’s help in wake of suspicious fires

Four suspicious fires in the span of four months prompted local RCMP to bring in fire specialist

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Family, friends of B.C murder victim want killer sent back to max security facility

Group wants convicted murderer Walter Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility

Most Read