Massive, rotating disk Galaxy spotted 12.3 billion light-years away

Astronomers have found evidence for the most distant rotationally supported disk galaxy ever detected

DLA0817g, nicknamed the Wolfe Disk after the astronomer Arthur M. Wolfe, was identified when ALMA examined the light from a more distant quasar.

“While previous studies hinted at the existence of these early rotating gas-rich disk galaxies, thanks to ALMA we now have unambiguous evidence that they occur as early as 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang,” said Dr. Marcel Neeleman, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy.

Dr. Neeleman and colleagues found that DLA0817g rotates with a velocity of about 272 km per second (170 miles per second), similar to our Milky Way Galaxy.

The astronomers also used NSF’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to learn more about star formation in the galaxy.

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“The star formation rate in the Wolfe Disk is at least 10 times higher than in our own Galaxy,” said Dr. J. Xavier Prochaska, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

“It must be one of the most productive disk galaxies in the early Universe”.

Read more: sci-news