Mystery surrounding huge ‘blob’ in deep space which has baffled astronomers for the best part of two decades has finally been unravelled – and the truth is even more mind-blowing than scientists expected.
Astronomer Chuck Steidel, of the California Institute of Technology, and his colleagues first spotted the glowing entity in the 1990s and could not figure out what it was. The team were trying to study distant galaxies and they saw these big blotchy things.
The massive clouds, which were up to 10 times the diameter of the Milky Way galaxy, around one million light years, were found to be vast clouds of hydrogen gas, which the team ultimately named ‘Lyman-alpha blobs’.
Nonetheless, what baffled the experts was that they could not understand what was making the blobs glow. Inside one of the huge clouds, which was studied by experts using Chile’s ALMA telescope was found to be two large galaxies which are producing stars at a never before seen rate.
Each of the galaxies inside the clouds was producing the equivalent of 100 new stars a year, according to University of Hertfordshire’s Jim Geach.