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

Toad migration stalled in South Langley

The expected migration is already almost a month late, likely due to dry weather.

Spontaneous pencil shopping at WalMart leads Langley woman to art career

For the first time ever, Brooke deBruin will be displaying her art publicly at Arts Alive.

Surrey RCMP seek witnesses after two killed in crash between SUV and semi

Surrey RCMP would like to speak to anyone who has information about the crash, or dash cam footage of the incident

Beer garden incorporated into Langley’s 25th annual Arts Alive

More entertainment, more vendors, more food, and a new beverage station added to Saturday’s festival.

For her murdered son, ‘Burnouts in the Sky’ returns to Cloverdale Saturday

Annual car show staged for the first time since Bradley McPherson’s killer was convicted

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

48 sockeye, harbour seal seized from poachers caught on B.C. river

Charges pending after two poachers arrested for salmon fishing at night

Vancouver 6th most liveable city in the world: report

West coast city narrowly beats Toronto, but is bested by Calgary

Plaque that replaced Macdonald statue at Victoria city hall vandalized

Less than 24 hours after plaque was installed, an ‘X’ had been scratched through the centre

UPDATED: Cars plunge in Italian highway bridge collapse; 25 killed

Five more people are injured and in serious condition

5 to start your day

Quidditch comes to Surrey, a drug-testing pilot in Chilliwack and more

Mt. Hicks wildfire partially closes Hwy. 7

150-hectare blaze prompted closure of a provincial park

Court hearing on Humboldt Broncos fundraising to test Saskatchewan law

The money has yet to be distributed because Saskatchewan has legislation known as the Informal Public Appeals Act

Tugboat carrying up to 22,000 litres of diesel sinks in Fraser River

It’s not year clear what caused the George H. Ledcor to flip

Most Read