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

Allegations of ‘undue dealings’ raise ire at air-quality hearing

Evidence continues in proceedings contesting emissions permit for South Surrey galvanizing plant

Sisters, sexual abuse and one Surrey family’s bond in new movie ‘Because We Are Girls’

Cloverdale’s Jeeti Pooni led effort to create the documentary, set to debut at festivals

Surrey Historical Society holds ‘memory social’ Sunday

Gathering will be a chance to offer, share stories

Drowning victim fondly remembered

Immigration consultant Jay Atienza Razon, who worked out of Newton, drowned in a kayaking accident March 29

Khan Michael Bourne, of Sechelt, shot dead in Surrey

Police say Bourne was found laying on the ground, with gunshot wounds

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Two units damaged in Abbotsford apartment fire

Quick action from fire rescue service halted blaze from spreading beyond two damaged units

5 to start your day

Many in hospital after Aldergrove deck collapse, video showing pig abuse allegedly at Abbotsford farm and more

Two in critical condition, several still in hospital after Langley deck collapse

Close relative Satwant Garcha makes daily trips to visit those injured at the wedding

Allegedly intoxicated man arrested after 3 paramedics attacked at Kamloops hospital

Paramedics had transported the man to Royal Inlands Hospital for medical treatment

Canadian privacy watchdogs find major shortcomings in Facebook probe

The probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal info

Busy day for passengers on BC Ferries

First two sailings from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay full Thursday morning

B.C., Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

Most Read