Newly Spotted Galaxy Has the UV Luminosity Similar to a Quasar: Why is So Special?

new discovery

A team of astronomers has made quite the discovery. Using data from the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) and with the ATACAMA Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), they spotted the most intriguing galaxy.

The galaxy is dubbed BOSS-EUVLG1 and has the UV luminosity similar to a quasar, and a red-shift of 2.47. Such value means that BOSS-EUVLG1 has been spotted when the Universe was around 200 million years old, approximately 20 % of its present age. Here is what you need to know.

Intriguing Feature For a Galaxy

The recent study unveiled that the incredible luminosity of BOSS-EUVLG1 in the UV and Lyman-alpha emission is due to the vast amount of young, giant stars in the galaxy. Such a high luminosity gave rise to its first identification as a quasar. But, in quasars, the high luminosity is because of the activity around the supermassive black holes in their nuclei, and the star formation has nothing to do with that.

Rui Marques Chaves is a researcher at the CAB, formerly a doctoral student at the University of La Laguna and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. He released a statement, saying: “BOSS-EUVLG1 seems to be dominated by a burst of formation of young, very massive stars, with hardly any dust, and with a very low metallicity.”

The star formation rate in BOSS-EUVLG1 is also very high, approximately 1000 solar masses/year, which is around 1000 times higher than that in our galaxy. 

Study’s Results

The study results indicate that BOSS-EUVLG1 is a perfect example of the first phases of the formation of massive galaxies. Despite its star formation rate and high luminosity, its low metallicity suggests that it had hardly had time to enrich its interstellar medium with newly formed metals and dust. 

BOSS-EUVLG1 was found via examining a half-million spectra of galaxies and quasars in the BOSS project of the SDSS (the Sloan Digital Sky Survey) and observations with ALMA and GTC. The name BOSS comes from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey. 

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