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Black hole shines a light on dark galaxies

from Ars Technica

According to our best models, the early universe was filled with clouds of gas that were the source of its current galaxies. However, not all of these protogalactic nebulas were massive enough to compress their gas sufficiently to make stars. This means a number of "dark galaxies" should exist: galaxy-sized clouds of gas with few or no stars. This lack of stars makes dark galaxies extremely hard to find. But a group of astronomers using the Very Large Telescope in Chile have identified 12 candidates from the early days of the universe via the UV light emitted from the black hole rather than star light. The UV light from the quasar fluorscently illuminates the gas in the otherwise dark galaxies. The findings are reported in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. more

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