Discovering a New Stage in the Galactic Lifecycle
CONFIRMED: Galaxies contained far less dust in the early stages of their evolution!
Using ALMA, COSMOS team leader Peter Capak and collaborators picked up the signature of [CII] (emitted by gas) and continuum (emitted by dust) in nine 'normal' galaxies at redshift 5 to 6 - only 1 billion years after the Big Bang.
They had twelve times less dust than similar galaxies at a later stage of cosmic evolution, at redshift ~4.
This confirms suspicions that the interstellar medium of galaxies evolved significantly. Their results are very important for our understanding of galaxy evolution and have now been published in Nature. Read the press release here.