Astronomers discover two new galaxy protoclusters | 10/25/2018 | Staff
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Sky distribution of r-dropout galaxies and number density contours in and around the D1RD01 region. Credit: Toshikawa et al., 2019.

Using Keck Observatory in Hawaii, astronomers have detected two new protoclusters of galaxies embedded in primordial superclusters. The research paper presenting the discovery and providing basic information about the newfound objects was published December 3 on the arXiv pre-print repository.

Galaxy - Clusters - Thousands - Galaxies - Gravity

Galaxy clusters contain up to thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity. They are the largest known gravitationally bound structures in the universe, and could serve as excellent laboratories for studying galaxy evolution and cosmology.

Astronomers are especially interested in finding protoclusters of galaxies, the progenitors of clusters. Such objects, found at high redshifts, could provide essential information about the universe at its early stages. However, detecting these structures at high redshifts (above 2.0) is challenging, requiring deep, wide-area surveys for proper identification.

Team - Researchers - Jun - Toshikawa - University

Now, a team of researchers led by Jun Toshikawa of the University of Tokyo, Japan, reports two new high-redshift protoclusters of galaxies. The discovery was made as a result of follow-up observations of three over-dense regions of galaxies designated D1RD01, D1GD02, and D4GD01, first identified by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) Deep Fields program. For this purpose, the researchers employed the DEep Imaging Multi-Object Spectrograph of the Keck II telescope.

"In this study, we have presented optical follow-up spectroscopy on the three over-dense regions of g- and r-dropout galaxies in the CFHTLS Deep Fields," the astronomers wrote in the paper.


As a result, the...
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