The Canadian Press

14 galaxies set to collide and form colossal cluster

Astronomers say this could be the largest structures in the universe

Astronomers have discovered the beginnings of what they say is a gigantic cosmic pileup that could someday form one of the largest structures in the universe.

The team of Canadian and international scientists say they used a powerful telescope to detect the “impending collision of 14 young, starbursting galaxies” that will become a massive galaxy cluster.

RELATED: Star Gazing: Mars, the wet planet

The research, published in the journal Nature, says the so-called protocluster or group of galaxies is 12.4 billion light years away — suggesting its light began travelling to Earth when the universe was 1.4 billion years old.

One of the researchers, astrophysicist Scott Chapman of Dalhousie University, says the discovery challenges conventional understanding of how structures form in the universe since it happened so quickly and in a space only about three times the size of the Milky Way.

RELATED: B.C. space sleuth discovers NASA satellite not a ‘piece of space junk’

Until now, astronomers had theorized that protoclusters as large as this one would have taken much longer to form.

Chapman says it gives them the opportunity to study how galaxy clusters come together in extreme environments characterized by hot, ionized gas.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lynne Smith humbled by mandate given to her by Saltair/Thetis voters

New Area G director looking forward to the challenge and representing her community well

Amazing artist JW-Jones brings his act to the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton

Live act by a master bluesman something to see and hear

Ladysmith voters elect 5 new faces to town council

Voters overwhelmingly support referendum questions

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read