A group of astronomers have discovered a galaxy of “cosmic ring of fire”, a very rare structure that has never been captured and which they say in nature astronomy has the potential to revolutionize theories of galaxy formation and the early Universe.
The “ring of fire” galaxy, labeled R5519, is 11 billion light-years from Earth and has a mass similar to that of the Milky Way. It has been captured by a group of European, Australian and American astronomers, combining spectroscopic data from the WM Keck observatory and images from the Hubble Space Telescope.
R5519 is a very special galaxy because of its structure. “It is a very curious object that we have never seen before,” astronomers describe in reference to its ring-shaped product of the catastrophic collision of two galaxies. Most ring galaxies are formed by internal processes, so this type of “collision ring galaxy” is extremely rare and it is the first time that it is in the original Universe, 11,000 million light years ago.
Until now it was thought that this extremely rare type of galaxy did not begin to appear until the period from 4,000 to 6,000 million years after the Big Bang and in fact, the galaxies discovered in that early Universe have the form of disordered bubbles, with stars that orbit in all directions and hence the discovery of this “ring of fire” galaxy is so special. It just wasn’t thought that it could be there in that period of time.
Astronomers explain its implications in galaxy formation theories: “Ring galaxy collision formation requires a thin disk (the defining component of spiral galaxies) to be present in the ‘victim’ galaxy before the collision occurs. This galaxy was formed at a time when thin discs were barely assembling. In comparison, the thin disk of our Milky Way began to come together just 1 billion years ago. “This discovery is an indication that the assembly of the disk in spiral galaxies occurred over a longer period than previously thought.”
Another of its highlights is the black hole located in the center of the galaxy. Supermassive rating falls short because it has a diameter 2,000 million times longer than the distance from Earth to the Sun. In comparison, it is three million times larger than the diameter of the supermassive black hole in the Messier 87 galaxy, one of the largest They knew each other and the first one who got to be photographed directly last year.
Its ability to form stars has also surprised astronomers, as it does so at a rate 50 times higher than that of the Milky Way. Most of it is located in its ring and hence its name for the “ring of fire” galaxy. According to the study, this galaxy will revolutionize the theories of formation of galactic structures and the same evolution of the original Universe.