It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Some of the biggest galaxies in the early universe seem to have grown quicker than thought possible and may have bulked up on streams of gas flowing along filaments of dark matter, say researchers.
Monster galaxies have long been thought to take a long time to form, growing slowly by gobbling up smaller galaxies like a giant amoeba absorbing food.
But overeating in this way cannot explain why some of the brightest galaxies at the heart of five clusters dating from relatively soon after the big bang – more than 8 billion years ago – grew so large, so fast, according to new research performed using the Subaru telescope in Hawaii.
Models suggest that if they snacked only on other galaxies, those ancient leviathans should have been just a fifth as massive as the biggest galaxies in similar clusters today that have had longer to eat their smaller neighbours. But instead the ancient galaxies appear to be roughly 90 per cent as massive as their present-day counterparts.
"It could be the tip of the iceberg. It might mean the simulations [of the early universe] need to be significantly altered," says Chris Collins of Liverpool John Moores University in Birkenhead, UK.