When a baby is born, it does not know how to walk. As the baby grows to a larger size, it begins to crawl, then it attempts to stand, and finally a few steps are taken. The first steps are very crude compared to how the person walks at age 10. So how does a baby galaxy look when it begins?
For baby galaxies, walking is not an issue. But their size and how they look is important. What did baby galaxies look like billions of years ago?
Deep space pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope show that baby galaxies looked very different than current galaxies. Before describing how these galaxies looked, you need to know that they formed about one billion years after the Big Bang. Some people think the deep field HST pictures may show some of the very first baby galaxies. Let us review how baby galaxies looked back then.
The pictures show that baby galaxies were very small at the beginning. Some think we see only the center part of a galaxy forming. As time passes, the galaxies grow bigger and change to having spiral arms or other shapes.
How does a baby galaxy get bigger? Letís review two methods.
- One way is that the galaxies crash into one another and join. The Hubble space telescope has taken many pictures of galaxies crashing into one another. Sometimes more than 2 galaxies crash into each other.
- A second way that baby galaxies grow larger is by pulling in gas and other matter. The gas and materials would have come from the Big Bang, which spread the materials around the universe.
Just as important was the discovery that the inner cores of distant galaxies give out extremely bright light. The surpassing brightness is due to quasars in the early universe. Scientists tell us that quasars are the brightest objects in the universe. The measured brightness of a single quasar could be like a thousand galaxies combined. Astronomers discovered quasars in the 1960s. Many people have pondered how these distant points of bright light also emit radio waves. Today, most scientists think that quasars formed at the center of young galaxies. Their super mass attracts and consumes passing stars and other space debris. The intense heat of this massive system heats up by friction and yields mind-boggling intense light. So galaxies in the early universe appear very different than galaxies that have grown old.
What is so important about baby galaxies?
Perhaps the most important idea is that nearly all galaxies started about the same time. Since the galaxies began, scientists tell us that none have appeared since then. The people who thought that the universe has always been around (steady state theory) cannot explain this problem. This sudden birth of baby galaxies tells us the universe had a beginning. I have listed several facts about baby galaxies that are supported by other reliable sites.
- It is a fact that the early universe created baby galaxies.
- It is a fact that quasars are very distant and began in the early universe.
- It is a fact that early galaxies grew in size by crashing into one another.
- It is a fact that galaxies have changed shapes since they were born such as growing spiral arms that extend outward.
The fact of baby-looking galaxies tells us that the universe has not always been here. Again, the evidence supports that the universe had a beginning based on the life cycle of galaxies.
Let's move on. However, instead of looking to the edge of the visible universe, let's use a microscope and peek inside the atom.
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The Amazing Atom?