In a first, astronomers have spotted close encounter between two hyper-luminous starburst galaxies — astoundingly bright and spectacularly massive galaxies in the early universe. Finding just one hyper-luminous starburst galaxy is remarkable in itself. Finding two of these rare galaxies in such close proximity is truly astounding.
Astronomers captured these two interacting galaxies, collectively known as ADFS-27, as they began the gradual process of merging into a single, massive elliptical galaxy. The ADFS-27 system has approximately 50 times the amount of star-forming gas as the Milky Way, said the study published in the Astrophysical Journal.
The ADFS-27 galaxy pair is located approximately 12.7 billion light-years from Earth in the direction of the Dorado constellation. At this distance, astronomers viewed this system as it appeared when the universe was only about one billion years old. Astronomers speculate that this merger may eventually form the core of an entire galaxy cluster. Galaxy clusters are among the most massive structures in the universe.