A team of researchers at Cardiff University in the UK has found out that the Universe is becoming more cleaner as the formation of stars in the galaxies cleans up the cosmic dust. Scientists used the Herschel Space Telescope to study the formation of galaxies that happened more than 12 billion years ago and compare it with galaxies that were formed recently.
The Herschel space telescope was launched in the year 2009 to track down all the hidden energy in the Universe. More than 100 astronomers have come together to analyze the image that the telescope has been sending for the last seven years. The survey taken by Herschel telescope is also named the Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey.
This week Professor Haley Gomez of Cardiff University presented the first ever catalogs of this picture at National Astronomy Meeting in Nottingham, Britain. In the paper, he addressed that in the past the formation of stars was much faster in comparison to the current time, and the formation used more of the cosmic dust that is present in the Universe.
Cosmic dust is a solid particle found between the stars and along with gas is the most important raw materials for the formation of stars and galaxies. Other than this Cosmic dust also acts like a sponge as half of the light emitted by the stellar objects are sucked by it. The absorbing of light makes it quite impossible for astronomers to observe different galaxies with standard optical telescopes.
The Herschel space telescope contained sensitive instruments, mirrors, and filter to unveil the stars and galaxies that are hidden by the dust. Scientists are hopeful that all the pictures that the telescope has sent will play a vital tool for astronomers to understand galaxies and wider cosmos.
Talking about this latest development Steve Eales from the Cardiff University said –
Through this research, we have come to the conclusion that galaxy used to contain more dust and gas in the past, and as the dust got used for formation of stars the universe became cleaner.
Before this telescope, researchers only knew about a few distant universe, and that to the pictures was present in black and white. But Herschel through its technology has given more colorful pictures through which scientists can tell about the distances and temperatures of the galaxies.