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Astronomers ASTRON and RUG discover a special galaxy

Astronomers from ASTRON and the University of Groningen (RUG) have discovered a new distant galaxy similar to our Milky Way. According to researchers, the finding changes how scientists see the universe.

The research was published in Nature on Wednesday.

“It is a very special observation,”

; Professor of Astronomy Marc Verheijen at RUG told RTV Drenthe. ‘It took 12 billion years for the light from the galaxy to reach the earth. It is so far away that you need the best telescopes and nature’s help. ‘

Young but adult

According to Verheijen, the new galaxy already resembles an adult galaxy. And it is very special. ‘This galaxy was formed 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang and it has already collected a lot of gas and stars. Normal galaxies take billions of years to do so. It is very special that such a large galaxy was formed so shortly after the Big Bang. ‘

And so this discovery makes scientists think and can provide new insights into the universe’s past. “We did not expect this either. We really have to think about how galaxies form.”


The researchers used very powerful telescopes for this discovery. Research leader Francesca Rizzo talks about a breakthrough. The results show that the structures we observe in nearby galaxies and in our own Milky Way were already in place 12 billion years ago. ‘

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