Astronomers Discover MAMBO-9, Most Distant Dusty Star-Forming Galaxy – “We Were in Doubt if It Was Real”

Artist Impression MAMBO-9


Artist impression of what MAMBO-9 would look like in visible light. The galaxy is very dusty and it has yet to build most of its stars. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF, B. Saxton

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have spotted the light of a massive galaxy seen only 970 million years after the Big Bang. This galaxy, called MAMBO-9, is the most distant dusty star-forming galaxy that has ever been observed without the help of a gravitational lens.

“We were in doubt if it was real, because we couldn’t find it with other telescopes. But if it was real, it had to be very far away.” — Manuel Aravena

Dusty star-forming galaxies are the most intense stellar nurseries in the universe. They form stars at a rate up to a few thousand times the mass of the Sun per year (the star-forming rate of our Milky Way is just three solar masses per year) and they contain massive amounts of gas and dust. Such monster galaxies are not expected to have formed early in the history of the universe, but astronomers have already discovered several of them as seen when the cosmos was less than a billion years old. One of them is galaxy SPT0311-58, which ALMA observed in 2018.

Because of their extreme behavior, astronomers think that these dusty galaxies play an important role in the evolution of the universe. But finding them is easier said than done. “These galaxies tend to hide in plain sight,” said Caitlin Casey of the University of Texas at Austin and lead author of a study published in The Astrophysical Journal. “We know they are out there, but they are not easy to find because their starlight is hidden in clouds of dust.”

ALMA Radio Image MAMBO-9


ALMA radio image of the dusty star-forming galaxy called MAMBO-9. The galaxy consists of two parts, and it is in the process of merging. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), C.M. Casey et al.; NRAO/AUI/NSF, B. Saxton

MAMBO-9’s light was already detected ten years ago by co-author Manuel Aravena, using the Max-Planck Millimeter BOlometer (MAMBO) instrument on the IRAM 30-meter telescope in Spain and the Plateau de Bure Interferometer in France. But these observations were not sensitive enough to reveal the distance of the galaxy. “We were in doubt if it was real, because we couldn’t find it with other telescopes. But if it was real, it had to be very far away,” says Aravena, who was at that time a Ph.D. student in Germany and is currently working for the Universidad Diego Portales in Chile.

Thanks to ALMA’s sensitivity, Casey and her team have now been able to determine the distance of MAMBO-9. “We found the galaxy in a new ALMA survey specifically designed to identify dusty star-forming galaxies in the early universe,” said Casey. “And what is special about this observation, is that this is the most distant dusty galaxy we have ever seen in an unobstructed way.”

The light of distant galaxies is often obstructed by other galaxies closer to us. These galaxies in front work as a gravitational lens: they bend the light from the more distant galaxy. This lensing effect makes it easier for telescopes to spot distant objects (this is how ALMA could see galaxy SPT0311-58). But it also distorts the image of the object, making it harder to make out the details.

In this study, the astronomers saw MAMBO-9 directly, without a lens, and this allowed them to measure its mass. “The total mass of gas and dust in the galaxy is enormous: ten times more than all the stars in the Milky Way. This means that it has yet to build most of its stars,” Casey explained. The galaxy consists of two parts, and it is in the process of merging.

Casey hopes to find more distant dusty galaxies in the ALMA survey, which will give insight into how common they are, how these massive galaxies formed so early in the universe, and why they are so dusty. “Dust is normally a by-product of dying stars,” she said. “We expect one hundred times more stars than dust. But MAMBO-9 has not produced that many stars yet and we want to find out how dust can form so fast after the Big Bang.”

“Observations with new and more capable technology can produce unexpected findings like MAMBO-9,” said Joe Pesce, National Science Foundation Program Officer for NRAO and ALMA. “While it is challenging to explain such a massive galaxy so early in the history of the universe, discoveries like this allow astronomers to develop an improved understanding of, and ask ever more questions about, the universe.”

The light from MAMBO-9 traveled about 13 billion years to reach ALMA’s antennas (the universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old today). That means that we can see what the galaxy looked like in the past (Watch the video above to learn how ALMA works as a time-machine). Today, the galaxy would probably be even bigger, containing one hundred times more stars than the Milky Way, residing in a massive galaxy cluster.

Reference: “Physical Characterization of an Unlensed, Dusty Star-forming Galaxy at z = 5.85” by Caitlin M. Casey, Jorge A. Zavala, Manuel Aravena, Matthieu Béthermin, Karina I. Caputi, Jaclyn B. Champagne, David L. Clements, Elisabete da Cunha, Patrick Drew, Steven L. Finkelstein, Christopher C. Hayward, Jeyhan S. Kartaltepe, Kirsten Knudsen, Anton M. Koekemoer, Georgios E. Magdis, Allison Man, Sinclaire M. Manning, Nick Z. Scoville, Kartik Sheth, Justin Spilker, Johannes Staguhn, Margherita Talia, Yoshiaki Taniguchi, Sune Toft, Ezequiel Treister and Min Yun, 11 December 2019, The Astrophysical Journal.
DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab52ff

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

11 Comments on "Astronomers Discover MAMBO-9, Most Distant Dusty Star-Forming Galaxy – “We Were in Doubt if It Was Real”"

  1. The nations are like a film of dust before such gigantic universal bodies such as the myriads of galaxies. Well this brings to mind these inspired words from the Scriptures at Job 38:31-36, “Can you tie the ropes of the Kiʹmah constellation*(The Pleiades stars in the Taurus constellation) Or untie the cords of the Keʹsil constellation?*(The Orion constellation) 32 Can you lead out a constellation* in its season Or guide the Ash constellation* along with its sons? 33 Do you know the laws governing the heavens, Or can you impose their* authority on the earth? 34 Can you raise your voice to the clouds To cause a flood of water to cover you? 35 Can you send out lightning bolts? Will they come and say to you, ‘Here we are!’
    36 Who put wisdom within the clouds* Or gave understanding to the sky phenomenon?” Well, none other than a benevolent master designer and creator Jehovah.

  2. laim hua duinn | December 14, 2019 at 3:12 am | Reply

    you dont give an arc view measurement on the marging mambo 9 objects
    could you advise me of same
    could you also advise what the location location location of the object as really it could be anywhere in the known wide universe and really that is so unsicentific as to be laughable

  3. so we have a measurement the gap between the two mambo sources is approx 20,000 light years and they wont meet and greet and kiss one another for another 40 to 80 million years time so 970 million light years + 40 = 1 billion and 10 light years or 970 and 80 = 150 billion light years
    but
    i still dont have a location am i facing the centre of the milky way galaxy to see these objects
    or
    am i facing the edge of the milky way galaxy to observe this object
    or am i
    perpendicular to these could someone advise as from the centre of the galaxy to the edge is a straight line and thats 180 degrees one side
    and 180 the other and i dont know where i am looking but i definitely know where i am standing on terra firma
    but more importantly
    thats 100 to 150 billion light years time from the big bang
    and if im calcualting right from where i am standing the the gap measures one third of an arc second sweep of the sky so that might imply because no figures have been given thAT THE TOTAL OBJECT SIZE GAP AND TWO GAS DUST CLOUDS ARE
    3 ARC SECONDS ACROSS OR 250 MILLION LIGHTS YEARS ACROSS
    BUT THIS THEN CAUSES A PROBLEM
    BECAUSE WHEN YOU LOCATE YOURSELF AT THE CENTRE OF THE BIG BANG
    THEN 250 MILLION LIGHT YEARS IS APPROX ONE ARC MINUTE OF SUBTENDING VIEW
    AND IFS THAT THE CASE
    THERE HAVE GOT TO BE 9000 MORE OF THESE OUT THERE SOMEWHERE LURKING AND LOITERING AND ONE OF THESE HOLDS THE MILKY WAY GALAXY IN ITS DUST GAS CLOUD
    WHICH ONE IS IT

  4. laim hua duinn | December 15, 2019 at 3:34 am | Reply

    hello hello is anyone out there its 24 hours since i asked the question
    what is the location of this nambo 9 object
    and guess what the boomer generation that got boomier and got caught by the short and curlies by the swindler con artists because they knew the money price of everything and did not know the number value of nothing and became the bustier crash generation post 2008 have not answered yet
    so that leaves 100 people in the know as to where this object is located and its 24 hours and counting and nobody has informed me where it is located in the universe sky
    failing that
    now i could get a hacker to hack your data and if they would be bothered for the price of nothing they would reveal the precise co ordinates for its location
    or failing that
    maybe the hacker could inform artificial intelligence AI by inputing the human sourced co ordinate point into the program so that the AI could output the result to reveal it to all
    or failing that
    maybe the brethren of job scripture could with all the other spirtualists and religious raise their hands up to the heavens and point out where it is revealing to me by pointing a finger the ropes of mambo 9
    or failing that
    if thats not an easy gesture the zodiac ones may inform me which sign of the twelve i should look to in order to place myself in the direction of the 30 degrees of arc that will contain this object
    or failing that
    could someone inform me which quadrant at least it is in
    quadrant one centre of galaxy to the right side of the solar system
    quadrant two right side of solar system to edge of the milky way galaxy
    quadrant three edge of the milky way to the left side of the solar system
    quadrant four left side of the solar system to the centre of the galaxy
    failing that
    which 180 degree side of the heavens should i be facing to note where this object is
    failing that after all in a trump world 24 hours and counting is just far toooo toooo long to get a straight answer to a direct question in this super super technology driven age
    so as there has been nobody interested in replying
    why dont i
    drop it let it go forget about it in a 5 second burst of snowflake concentration and move on to others things that i do get a reply from instead of vast silence
    24 hours 25 and counting
    is there anyone out there

  5. laim hua duinn | December 16, 2019 at 3:06 am | Reply

    why dont i
    drop it let it go forget about it in a 5 second burst of snowflake concentration and move on to others things that i do get a reply from instead of vast silence
    24 hours 25 and counting
    48 hours and not a whisper
    and to confirm this state exists i listen to the sound of the echo in reply the drowning sound of silence
    is there anyone out there and
    i do as i write
    so i let it go
    so i drop it oophs its fallen out of my hands someone catch it before
    and it falls down down down and further down smashing and crashing dashing and bashing unto the cosmic basement floor and breaking into 12 billion smithereens fragment pieces
    and i bend down and pick up one fragment and look to view observe what it is
    and i see it is what i was looking for
    this is what i saw
    970,000,000 anno universo = 12,730,000,000 annual years hiding in plain sight seen in an unobstructed way the two parted mambo 9 most distant gas and dusty star forming galaxy and it has yet to build most of its stars and the two parts are in the process of merging mmj100026,36 + 021527.9
    The gap between the two mambo 9 sources is approximately 6 kps 20,000 light years and they wont meet greet and kiss each other for another 40 to 80 million years so that’s between 1,010 to 1,050 billion years anno universo and the gap size is approx. one third of an arc second wide
    Which might imply the two mambo 9 sources and the gap are approx. 3 arc seconds across or 180 to 250 million light years across
    But locating myself at the centre of the big bang this 250 million light years becomes 15 degrees of arc view of subtending view and if that’s the case
    There have got to be a possible 500 more of them out there somewhere in a location nobody is telling me its exact co ordinate position lurking and loitering and one of the possible 500 holds the proto milky way galaxy in its dust gas cloud which one is it
    Also at this distance Galaxy spt0311-58 by gravitational lensing
    1,000,000,000 anno universo = 12,700,000,000 annual years ago large regions full of cold hydrogen gas present in the universe
    The cosmic dark ages over
    The universe a sparkling firmament stars bursting into life
    Track cosmic expansion by measuring baryon acoustic oscillations baos in the early universe these oscillations are ripples in the density of matter that left a spherical imprint in space around which galaxies clustered the distribution of galaxies is highest in the centre of the imprint a region called a supercluster and around its edges with giant voids between these areas
    Superclusters formed in regions where dark matter invisible material that drives the formation of such large scale structures had concentrated under its own gravitational pull
    This primordial pattern of galaxy clustering has remained unchanged since about one million years after the big bang as the universe grew baos have tracked its expansion they are now about 329 megaparsecs wide 1 billion light years
    Tracking baos requires a 3 d map of galaxies made by measuring their redshifts
    The lengthening of the electromagnetic waves in their spectra of light
    Redshifts measure how fast a galaxy is receding from the milky way which indicates how far away the galaxy is
    1,000,000,000 anno universo = 12,700,000,000 annual years ago the cosmos billionth birthday a star for every year is on the cake can you blow them all out in one breath and some of the first light started to make its long journey through the universe it was one of those beams of light thrown out from a quasar that happened to pass near a galaxy that happened to bend and magnify the light sending it towards us and allowing it to be seen today the light that reached the earth was among the first to ever twinkle on after the big bang
    Comic reionization complete the universe becomes transparent again
    Galaxies begin to evolve the solar system is but a twinkle in some galactic bodies matter eyes are you the one for it to occur so that we can all figure it out from you the one that caused it all
    This primordial pattern of galaxy clustering has remained unchanged since about one billion years after the big bang as the universe grew baryon acoustic oscillations baos have tracked its expansion they are now about 329 megaparsecs wide 1 billion light years
    Cosmologists use this distance as a ruler by tracking the size of the baos across time they can reconstruct how the universe itself expanded
    The pattern in the map is basically constant the scale is increasing
    when the universe was 1.1 billion years old there was still large pockets of the cosmos where the gas between galaxies was still cold and it is these neutral islands of cold gas the universe was reionized by light from young stars in the first galaxies to form
    1,010,000,000 1,050,000,000 anno universo = 12,690,000,000 12,650,000,000 annual years The gap between the two mambo 9 sources has closed it was approx. 6 kps 20,000 light years and they have met touched and kissed each other or maybe not for another 40 million years so that’s between 1,010 and 1,050 billion years anno universo and the gap size is approx. one third of an arc second wide has closed and the objects are 2.5 arc seconds across
    Which might imply the two mambo 9 sources and the gap are approx. 2.5 arc seconds across or 160 to 250 million light years across
    But locating myself at the centre of the big bang this 250 million light years becomes 15 degrees of arc view of subtending view and if that’s the case
    There have got to be a possible 500 more of them out there somewhere in a location nobody is telling me exactly where co ordinate position lurking and loitering and one of the possible 500 holds the proto milky way galaxy in its dust gas cloud which one is it
    Also at this distance Galaxy spt0311-58 by gravitational lensing

    2.7 billion years later the proto milky way galaxy was born
    and from here i take my first step in three dimensional euclidian space and i walk in a straight line to 2020 vision terra firma earth
    and reaching this earth terminal where i write this text
    i look back view see observe the direction i have walked and i see where i have come from the location location location i need to be at
    and at this point the dawning of the proto galatic milky way i look back 2.7 billion years further to mambo 9 and ask myself the fortune of treasures that i have gained in my store house much more than all the financial riches in the world as i look back and try to conceive what feminine form would try and abort the conception that i am trying to labour into life from a gas dust cloud to a sparkling fire star
    but im a snow flake so i melt and disappear

  6. laim hua duinn | December 17, 2019 at 2:40 am | Reply

    mambo 9 you are having a laugh a roaring laughter lounge raucous cackle
    72 hours and counting someones upset someone out there
    testing 1 2 testing 1 2 3 mambo 9 can you hear me
    there seems to be a technical problem but im listening
    mambo 9 are you an apparition yes i have appeared out of nowhere
    mambo nine are you a miracle yes i was concealed and am now revealed
    nambo nine are you an immaculate conception yes i a pristine primary primordial conception
    nambo nine are you scientific what do you mean by that mumbo jumbo
    nambo nine whats your location do you need us to assist you do you need emergency services food supplies clothing housing transport do you need anything so that we can assist you can you advise by return what is your coordinate location where are u so that assistance can be provided urgently
    nambo nine who are u where are u what are you trying to do to me
    nambo nine we want to find out more about you we wont hurt you we will do everything within our power to assist you so to help us do this
    here is a planisphere map we have made out and you see the X marking the spot that us there in the milky way galaxy so now you know where we are if you want to travel and come and meet and greet us
    but mambo 9 we need you if you would be so good as to get your own planisphere and to mark your location with an 0 so that we know where you are
    will you do that for us you goody goody two shoes mambo 9
    there now ive placed my 0 on the planisphere
    what should i do now
    post it out and when i get it emergency services will get back to u instantly
    pity google didnt make it there
    so i waited this could take some time posting a card from 12 billion light years away
    so to while away the time lets play a game of X0X and have some more laughs
    could you all take out a planisphere that you all keep handy
    and mark an X where the earth is located
    and then mark 0 where mambo 9 is located
    and why dont you google it back to here
    and the mambo 9 people can advise who is the winner by seeing who is the closest to the x and 0
    and then it will be case proven that mambo 9 is scientific
    but until then im afraid i have to keep to faith belief are u a true believer do you really really believe nambo 9 exists and not know where its location is on a planisphere
    dont believe the mumbo jumbo testing testing 12 testing testing 1 2
    it seems we are having a fade out no no its not a technical issue its a technician issue there seems to be nobody back stage to make the microphone work
    all right all right nambo 9 pity we have lost you you know you could have grown up to be a milky way type with 7 billion people waiting to listen to you but there again maybe not as for the first 72 hours all you will get is silence
    think long and hard what you want to be mambo 9 before you reveal to the world the location of your laughter lounge

  7. laim hua duinn | December 19, 2019 at 2:37 am | Reply

    due to lack of interest the competition 0x marks the 0 mamba 9 spot is now closed
    Astronomers Discover MAMBO-9, Most Distant Dusty Star-Forming Galaxy –
    “We Were in Doubt if It Was Real”
    we now know it aint proven conculusively from the lack of interest
    we have been declined to revelation of its right ascension and with that scientific offering the only other advice that one can give and offer to u gullible believing lot
    belief and faith is your only alternative
    believe and all the kingdom will be revealed to thine eyes
    let the scientific blind lead the blind into the chasm between nambo 9 and proto milky way watch out for those who will cut the umbilical cord

  8. 120 hours and counting
    Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have spotted
    Not only are the dish surfaces carefully controlled, but the antennas can be steered very precisely and pointed to an angular accuracy of 0.6 arcseconds (one arcsecond is 1/3600 of a degree). This is accurate enough to pick out a golf ball at a distance of 15 km.
    hurrah
    we have a result
    180 degrees of southern hemisphere sky
    yipee
    121 hours

  9. laim hua duinn | December 19, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Reply

    Band 3 data were obtained in two tunings.
    The first covers frequencies 86.6–90.3 GHz and 98.6–102.4 GHz.
    These data were taken on 2019-04-30 and 2019-05-01 in
    C43-4 with a total integration time of 14668 s, resolution
    of 1.
    0019×1.
    0009 (using natural weighting), and an average
    PWV ranging from 1.3–2.3 mm. The RMS reached over
    a 50 km s−1
    channel width was 0.124 mJy/beam. The
    second band 3 tuning covers frequencies 94.8–98.5 GHz
    and 106.6–110.4 GHz.
    These data were taken on 2019-04-30, 2019-05-01 and 2019-05-02, a spatial resolution
    of of 1. 0014 × 0.0093 (using natural weighting), a total integration time of 15010 s, and a mean PWV ranging from
    0.9–2.0 mm. The RMS reached for a 50 km s−1
    channel
    width was 0.088 mJy/beam. All band 3 data presented
    in this paper also are co-added in the visibility plane
    with the archival spectral scan from Jin et al. (2019)
    (2017.1.00373.S) which contributes a total of ∼1500 s integration time to the total (9%). Our 3 mm continuum
    flux density is consistent with the measurement from the
    Jin et al. data. In an effort to spatially resolve the com

    anyone want to tell me 2019 04 30 and 29 05 01 and 29 05 02
    what area of the sky can be seen
    lets narrow this down from 360 degrees to at least 180 degrees
    from chile

  10. laim hua duinn | December 20, 2019 at 1:54 am | Reply

    132 hours and counting google is there anyone out there to assist help aid it looks like everyone is so laid back it appears that they dont know where they are at
    anyone offer a hint there are 6,999,998 more of you out there do you not want to try and find out where mambo 9 is located
    hocus pocus mumbo jumbo mambo 9
    lets all raise out hands up to the heavens do you feel the nambo 9 vibes are they resonating down 2 u
    hold on im feeling the waves they are approaching
    the quadrant of the heavens you will find me quatered in is quadrant 2 from the right side of the solar system to the edge of the galaxy
    come on everybody u can do better than that
    once more hocus pocus mumbo jumbo mambo 9 where are u located in quadrant 2
    concentrate meditate dont let any scientific co ordinate foul up your location space
    now
    be like a scientist
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    snoriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  11. laim hua duinn | December 21, 2019 at 3:26 am | Reply

    wAke up wake up
    the mumbo jumbo didnt work there has been a complication
    raise the hands to the heavens again concentrate meditate let the vibes vibe out
    the signs are calling back do you hear their echo
    aquarius pisces aries
    hold on hold on some other hocus pocus is tampering with the line

    These data were taken on 2019-04-30, 2019-05-01 and 2019-05-02,
    the right to ascension 38 degrees 39 degrees 40 degrees

    but we have the following data

    RA — 10:00:26.356 10:00:26.356 —
    and the decline of the declination
    DEC — +02:15:27.94 +02:15:26.63 —

    but really if you are having a direct unobstructed view
    why didnt they observe this object end of march and beginning of april when the object would have been directly in front of your unobstructed view at the midnight hour

    but more importantly
    now we seem to be 1 billion light years from the centre of the big bang dont we
    raise your hands again to the heavens
    anyone out there mambo 9 to indicate the way forward
    mumbo jumbo hocus pocus
    do you have eyes to see no i dont i have alma to view
    do you have ears to hear no i dont i have echos to vibrate across a spectrum
    do you have legs to walk no i dont i have just travelled 13,7 billion light years i absolutely jaded and im thirsty and hungry for more
    get out of bed and start walking to the big bang location location location
    will i be home for x mas the spot
    144 hours of a result that should have taken me 3 seconds
    what a waste of space and time

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