back to article Astronomers spot 13-BEEELLION-year-old hot galactic threesome

Using a combination of space and ground-based telescopes, astronomers have discovered three primitive galaxies slowly merging in a bubble of primordial elements. Galaxy threeway Galaxies need to get a room The galactic cluster was first spotted in 2009 by NASA space-scope Hubble and is located around 13 billion light-years …

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Errmmm....what?

"some 13 billion years ago from now."

"Even more interesting, these galaxies appear poised to merge into a single massive galaxy, which could eventually evolve into something akin to the Milky Way."

So, more like "probably has evolved into..." since it already happened 13 beeellion years ago.

It's still gobsmackingly amazing what we can see what with watching a star turning into a black hole and now seeing a galaxy forming right before our (telescopically assisted) eyes.

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Re: Errmmm....what?

Relativity makes things tricky. Our definition of now is particular to us. It's not the same now as that of a distant galaxy. So however you phrase it, you're going to upset somebody.

As far as that distant galaxy is concerned, we in our current state (as we regard it) happened billions of years ago in their past.

Appear poised to merge is exactly right.

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Re: Errmmm....what?

"As far as that distant galaxy is concerned, we in our current state (as we regard it) happened billions of years ago in their past."

True enough. I remember that merger. The nice, quiet neighborhood got all noisy and boisterous, so we moved out this way.

Well, it feels like I'm that old in the morning.

We'll eventually have a few mergers in the Milky Way as well.

Though, as I recall, the Earth will long be no longer inhabitable when it happens.

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Joke

Re: Errmmm....what?

"So however you phrase it, you're going to upset somebody."

Yes, but it's going to take 13 billion years for their complaint to reach us, added to the 13 billion years needed for them to get the original signal and be offended, so we'll probably have moved on by then.

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Re: Errmmm....what?

<NAK> Please resend.

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Lack of carbon

Given the extreme early age of the observed phenomenon, couldn't it just simply be that there simply hadn't been time enough for enough carbon to form to detect with our current equipment? Or simplistically put: There hasn't been time enough time yet for sufficient enough stars to blow up to seed the environment with the carbon in their shells.

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Alien

Re: Lack of carbon

Far in the distant past, three advanced civilizations took actions that would forever seal their fate. Led by well meaning, but misguided activists and spineless politicians, the decision was made to minimize the amount of carbon produced by the industries of the planets within those galaxies. While troubled at first by flawed economics and technology and political sectors ripe with graft, the carbon sequestration initiatives did eventually pay off. Industrial efficiencies soared and natural resource reserve estimates were increased by orders of magnitude, due to the huge reductions in manufacturing waste. For a time all was well with the inhabitants of these galaxies.

Eventually the same industry leaders and less than honest politicians who started it all realized that their systems were no longer capable of growing, or of filling their pockets. A new movement was begun to reduce carbon even further with the eventual conclusion that carbon could be eliminated completely by eliminating the basic elements of carbon construction. Stopping more carbon before it could get started.

Slowly the less productive members of society and those who protested too much were sent out of the galaxy to find new homes on a carbon rich planet with an abundance of water and compatible atmosphere. A planet far distant where it could not affect those who remained behind.

With the more useless and annoying members of their society gone, the greatest minds of all three galaxies devised the ultimate carbon elimination plan. An enormous device was constructed that pulled the galaxies together with the ultimate goal of creating a release of energy so powerful that a rift in space would be created and all carbon within those galaxies would be sucked into the rift. The machine worked well. The entire timeline was so long that living citizens were not concerned, they would be long dead before the rift opened.

Time passed however, and certain people begin to second guess the decisions of their ancestors. Many attempts were made to stop the device, but to no avail. Everything was tried, nothing worked. The machine churned along, unstoppable and insatiable. Escape from the galaxies proved impossible as the machine grew more powerful the closer the galaxies became. Fear and panic swept the galaxies and the decision was made for the largest mass suicide in the history of the universe.

A powerful drug that caused instant, painless death was created and released simultaneously into the water supply on all inhabited worlds. Now there was no more carbon production. The journey which began so long ago was complete. Everyone was dead and safe from all carbon. Only one being from those galaxies survived. A being who had become immensely wealthy and powerful doing little more than observing the actions of others. A being that consumed only bourbon (which counteracted the suicide drug) remained. That being, known now as Don Jefe, simply unplugged the great machine. The smartest of people overlooked the simplest solution. Now unbelievably powerful and having sole dominion over those galaxies, Don Jefe followed his ancestors of long ago to a tiny planet called Earth.

Don Jefe was greatly saddened that events on Earth were progressing as they had on those far away galaxies but he was powerless to stop it. Crooked politicians and an overwhelming scientific illiteracy among an extremely poorly educated public were problems beyond his control. So again, he waits and watches. Soon he will take a select group back to their ancestral homes but the rest will perish. Victims of their own greed and ignorance.

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Devil

Take me! Take me! I drink burbon too!

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Looks more like...

the redshifted blue light from the top of three Police boxes...No..it couldn't be...could it?

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13 billion light years old or 13 billion light years away?

Given the expansion of the universe since the Big Bang, it is unlikely to be 13 billion light years away - more like 13 billion light years old and near to 40 billion light years away.

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Re: 13 billion light years old or 13 billion light years away?

If it is 40 billion light years away, and got that far apart in 13 billion years then faster than light travel is possible or light travels faster than light...or...there are multiple big bangs happening all the time

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Re: 13 billion light years old or 13 billion light years away?

Look basically its further away than California, and that's all that counts

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Re: 13 billion light years old or 13 billion light years away?

No it is not faster than light or multiple big bangs, just that the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang.

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Joke

Re: 13 billion light years old or 13 billion light years away?

Not according to Apple maps....

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Re: 13 billion light years old or 13 billion light years away?

Back to relativity and that difficult concept "now". The light we observe has been travelling for an estimated thirteen billion years. The space it has been travelling through has been expanding. It was a lot less than thirteen billion light years distant when that light set out. By extrapolating, we can work out that light emitted by that object at this time (insert relativistic caveats) won't get here in thirteen billion years. Forty billion might be a better guess. Or not. It's a long time to wait.

If the expansion of the universe really is accelerating, maybe that object will move right outside the boundary of our observable universe at a future date. (In that case it will become more and more red-shifted, until the redshift becomes infinite and it disappears).

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"96% of the Universe is composed of math particles and hyper-dense equations" ~ anonymous

Isn't it odd that with over 90% of the Universe hypothetically composed of "dark matter"....

that we can "see" 13 billion light years away ? ? ?

And isn't it odd that we can see 13 billion light years in EVERY DIRECTION, meaning that just by happy coincidence, WE ARE IN THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE ! ! !

OR NOT....big bang is government funded bull dung to avoid discussing the REAL parameters of reality, see the "Cosmology" tab at FauxScienceSlayer. Conscious is the fifth dimension and the Demonic Warlords do not want humanity to "expand" our conscious.

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Anonymous Coward

Isn't it odd that with over 90% of the Universe hypothetically composed of "dark matter"....

that we can "see" 13 billion light years away ? ? ?

No. Dark matter doesn't interact with light, so it doesn't block it either.

And isn't it odd that we can see 13 billion light years in EVERY DIRECTION, meaning that just by happy coincidence, WE ARE IN THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE ! ! !

Also no. We are in the center of the visible universe, which is a hypersphere, the further away you look, in any direction, the further back along the time axis you see

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