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An international team of astronomers have captured the image of something never before seen, a “ring of cosmic fire” as it existed around 11,000 million years ago. It is a distant galaxy, called R5519, which has approximately the mass of our own Milky Way and is circular with a hole in the middle, more like a “donut ” titanic”. Makes stars at a blistering pace. “It’s super rare”, they recognize their discoverers. The finding, announced in the journal “Nature ” Astronomy”, you can shake the theories about the earliest formation of structures, galactic.

“it Is really curious that we have never seen before,” says the principal investigator, Tiantian Yuan, Center of Excellence ARC of Australia for Astrophysics All Sky in 3-Dimensional (ASTRO 3D). “It seems familiar and strange at the same time”.

Located at 11,000 million light years of the Solar System, R5519 was discovered in the data of the Observatory, the WM Keck in Hawaii and the Hubble Space Telescope of NASA. The black hole in its center is truly massive, with a diameter of 2,000 millions of times longer than the distance between the Earth and the Sun. Monstrous. To put it another way, is three million times larger than the diameter of the supermassive black hole in the galaxy Messier 87, which in 2019 became the first to be photographed directly.

“you Are making stars at a rate 50 times greater than the Milky Way,” says Yuan, a member of ASTRO 3D with headquarters in the Centre of Astrophysics and Supercomputing of the University of Technology of Swinburne, in the state of Victoria. “Most of that activity takes place in your ring, so it really is a ring of fire.”

Very rare

There are two types of galaxies in the ring. The most common is created by internal processes. But the second is formed by collision, as a result of encounters immense and violent with other galaxies. By what they have seen to the researchers, R5519 is one of those galaxies in-ring collision”, so that is the first found in the early Universe.

In the Universe of “local” nearby, these galaxies in the ring collision is 1,000 times more rare than the type created in-house. The images of the R5519, only 3,000 million years after the Big Bang, indicate that they have always been extremely rare.

Ahmed Elagali, of the International Research Center of radio astronomy in Western Australia, believes that studying R5519 help you determine when spiral galaxies began to develop. “In addition, restricting the number density of galaxies in a ring through cosmic time can also be used to impose restrictions on the assembly and evolution of groups of galaxies local”, it adds.

On the same line, Kenneth Freeman, professor of the Australian National University and co-author of the study, says the discovery will have implications for understanding how they were formed galaxies like the Milky Way. “The formation of collision of galaxies in a ring requires a thin disk to be present in the galaxy ‘victim’ prior to the happening of the collision,” he explains.

“The thin disk is the component that defines the spiral galaxies: before assembly, the galaxies were in a disordered state, not yet recognizable as spiral galaxies,” he adds. As he explains, “in the case of this galaxy ring, we’re looking back at the early universe, about 11,000 million years ago, in an era in which the thin discs just were together. In comparison, the thin disk of our Milky Way started to join only 1000 million years. This discovery is an indication that the assembly of the disc in spiral galaxies was done over a longer period than previously thought”.