News ID: 201273
Published: 0552 GMT September 26, 2017

Low-oxygen galaxy recalls formation of early Universe

Low-oxygen galaxy recalls formation of early Universe

A newly discovered dwarf galaxy with a limited oxygen supply may offer astronomers new insights in the formation and evolution of the early Universe.

The galaxy is located 620 million light years away, situated in the constellation Lynx, UPI reported.

Dubbed J0811+4730, the dwarf galaxy is the most oxygen-deprived star-forming galaxy yet discovered by astronomers. It boasts nine percent less oxygen than the next most oxygen-deficient galaxy.

Because the first few generations of galaxies were relatively simple and oxygen-deprived, researchers believe J0811+4730 can offer unique insights into history of the early Universe.

The first generation of galaxies, which formed roughly 400 million years after the Big Bang, were relatively simple — made up of hydrogen and helium.

Over time, the Universe became more chemically diverse as stellar fusion birthed new, heavier elements, including oxygen.

The earliest low-oxygen galaxies are too faint and faraway to be studied using today's astronomical equipment, but J0811+4730 can serve as a proxy for the smaller, simpler galaxies of the early Universe — a window into the Universe as it was 13 billion years ago.

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