A group of astronomers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, the U.S. mainland, Canada, and Europe recently used the twin telescopes of the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea to conduct a census of the brightest, but until now unseen, galaxies in the distant universe, bringing astronomers one step closer to understanding how galaxies form and evolve.
These galaxies glow so brightly at infrared wavelengths that they would outshine the Milky Way by hundreds, maybe thousands, of times. They are forming stars so quickly that between 100 and 500 new stars are born in each galaxy every year, and have been coined “starbursts” by astronomers.
While it’s not clear what gives these galaxies their intense luminosity, it could be the result of a collision between two spiral-type galaxies, similar to the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies. They could also be in a particularly gas-rich region of space, where galaxies form stars quickly due to constant bombardment from gas and dust.
UH in the News for November 30–December 6, 2012
- Hawaii 24/7, December 6, 2012: “UH Hilo’s Pezzuto named AAAS fellow”
- Hawaii News Now, December 6, 2012: “New UH Athletics Director to be announced Friday”
- Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 6, 2012: “Hawaii picks 2 finalists for AD job” (subscription required)
- Hawaii News Now, December 5, 2012: “Cal AD voices support for UH AD finalist”
- Hawaii Reporter, December 5, 2012: “UH President Greenwood and her longtime partner donate $50,000 to Cancer Center”
- Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 5, 2012: “UH policy review aims to improve oversight, openness” (subscription required)
- Pacific Business News, December 5, 2012: “University of Hawaii set to name new athletics director”
- Civil Beat, December 4, 2012: “UH Regents agree to Senate committee’s recommendations”
- Hawaii News Now, December 4, 2012: “UH with 2 finalists for AD position”
- Maui Now, December 4, 2012: “Kaiser donates $13K to Maui College’s dental program”
- Hawaii News Now, December 3, 2012: “UH leaders strive to restore tarnished reputation”
- Honolulu Star-Advertiser, December 1, 2012: “Mustard bombs’ impact in ocean is studied” (subscription required)