An international group of astronomers discovered the most distant radio galaxy from us. The distance to it allowed to determine the analysis of data on its redshift. It turned out that the galaxy is located from us in 12 billion light years. In other words, the radiation received by telescopes was emitted when the age of the universe was only 7% of the present. Previously, scientists believed that such objects did not exist in such ancient times. About their discovery, astronomers reported in the Journal of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
By themselves, radio galaxies are a relatively rare phenomenon in the universe. They have much more radio emission than the rest of the galaxies. These are huge galaxies, with supermassive black holes located in their center, actively attracting gas and dust from the surrounding space. Such activity leads to the release of high-energy rays, capable of accelerating charged particles to near the light speed.
The object of research of scientists is called TGSS J1530 + 1049. It was detected with the help of a giant meter radio telescope (GMRT) installed in India. To determine the distance to the galaxy, a team of researchers from the Netherlands, Brazil, Italy and the United Kingdom measured redshifts of its light waves using the Gemini North telescope on the island of Hawaii, and the Big Binocular Telescope in Arizona, USA. The further the galaxies are, the faster they move from us, so the light from them seems more red due to the Doppler shift. Thus, the faster the galaxy moves from us, the stronger its redshift.
Further observations of the TGSS J1530 + 1049 object using the VLA radio telescope allowed scientists to determine its apparent size. And on the basis of this, taking into account the computed distance, astronomers determined the real dimensions of the radio galaxy. It is about 11,400 light years. Based on the generally accepted models, astronomers also estimated the upper limit of the mass of stars in this system. It turned out to be equal to about 30 billion suns.
The most distant radio galaxy from us was discovered in 1999. At the time of measurement, its redshift index was z = 5.19. Thanks to this, scientists found out that it was about 11 billion light-years away. The title of the most remote radio galaxy, it took almost 20 years. In the detected radio galaxy TGSS J1530 + 1049, the redshift is z = 5.72, which indicates a distance of almost 12 billion light years.
The fact of the existence of this galaxy surprised scientists very much. After all, this object and the supermassive black hole in the center refer to the era when the first stars were barely lit. Therefore, the discovery of such radio galaxies is considered extremely important for our understanding of the processes of formation and evolution of galaxies. The study of such objects can also shed light on the formation of black holes, considered to be the cause of the formation and growth of galaxies.