We did it, baby boomers! We had a galaxy named after us! Not just any galaxy -- the grandmother of galaxies, 12.3 billion light years away and 1.3 billion years old. And this grandmother is producing stars at the rate of a teenage galaxy! Four thousand stars per year! (Our own Milky Way only produces about 10 stars per year!)
Naturally, NASA named the new-found galaxy after us, calling it the Baby Boom Galaxy. And, of course all the babies are stars! (We were always over-achievers!)
The Baby Boom Galaxy belongs to a group of galaxies known as "starburst galaxies," and is the oldest and brightest galaxies of its age. The Baby Boom was discovered and measured by a team of astronomers from NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology. It was studied through an array of very high-tech telescopes with different abilities to "see" and measure a host of galaxy properties capable of determining things like star production, age, and distance.
In fact, according to Nick Scoville, head of the Cosmic Evolution Survey at Caltech, "The immediate identification of this galaxy with its extraordinary properties would not have been possible without the full range of observations in this survey." Among the telescopes that participated in the observation of the Baby Boom Galaxy were NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, Japan's Subaru Telescope, and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope.
It's so nice to be noticed.
And in 50 million years, a mere blink of the eye for a galaxy, people (or whoever?) will still remember the baby boomers. At this rate of star production, the Baby Boom Galaxy will be one of the largest galaxies ever discovered. What a nice legacy.
And baby boomers, keep acting younger than your age! If a galaxy can get away with it, you can too!
via Science News photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Subaru
Keeping you posted!