Saturday, January 29, 2011

676)The Orbiting Hubble Space Telescope Reveals The Oldest And Furthest Known Galaxy In The Universe; Quotes From Blogpost Four Hundred.

Chapter 21, Verse 30: Do not the unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together before We clove them asunder, and of water fashioned every thing? Will they not then believe?(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

Chapter 51, verse 47: We built the heavens with might, and We expand it wide(Noble Quran, 7th Century CE)

"Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth; (Here) indeed are Signs for the people of intellect"(Noble Quran)

"Islam is fundamentally in its very nature a natural religion. Throughout the Quran God's signs (Ayats) are referred to as the natural phenomenon, the law and order of the universe, the exactitudes and consequences of the relations between natural phenomenon in cause and effect. Over and over, the stars, sun, moon, earthquakes, fruits of the earth and trees are mentioned as the signs of divine power, divine law and divine order. Even in the Ayeh of Noor, divine is referred to as the natural phenomenon of light and even references are made to the fruit of the earth"(Aga Khan III, April 4th 1952, Karachi, Pakistan)

"The creation according to Islam is not a unique act in a given time but a perpetual and constant event; and God supports and sustains all existence at every moment by His will and His thought. Outside His will, outside His thought, all is nothing, even the things which seem to us absolutely self-evident such as space and time. Allah alone wishes: the Universe exists; and all manifestations are as a witness of the Divine Will"(Memoirs of Aga Khan III, 1954)

"Astronomy, the so-called “Science of the Universe” was a field of particular distinction in Islamic civilization-–in sharp contrast to the weakness of Islamic countries in the field of Space research today. In this field, as in others, intellectual leadership is never a static condition, but something which is always shifting and always dynamic"(Aga Khan IV, Convocation, American University of Cairo, Cairo, Egypt, June 15th 2006)

"......The Quran tells us that signs of Allah’s Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation - in the heavens and the earth, the night and the day, the clouds and the seas, the winds and the waters...."(Aga Khan IV, Kampala, Uganda, August 22 2007)

"In Shia Islam, intellect is a key component of faith. Intellect allows us to understand the creation of God"(Aga Khan IV, July 23rd 2008, Lisbon, Portugal)

"A galaxy formed when the 14 billion year old universe was only half a billion years old is a big story, being so close(relatively) to the moment of genesis."(Easy Nash)

January 26, 2011

In Hubble’s Lens, Signs of a Galaxy Older and Farther Than Any Other


Leapfrogging into the past with the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers says it has detected what may be the most distant and earliest galaxy yet found. It is a smudge of light only a tiny fraction of the size of our own Milky Way galaxy, and it existed when the universe was only 480 million years old. Its light has been on its way to us for 13.2 billion years, making it the long-distance champion in an expanding universe.

If confirmed, the discovery takes astronomers deep into an era when stars and galaxies were first lighting up the universe and burning their way out of a primordial fog known as the dark ages. The birth rate of stars, they concluded from their observations, increased tenfold in the 200 million years between the time of the newly discovered galaxy and the next earliest known galaxies, which date to 650 million years after the Big Bang — a rate even faster than astronomers had thought.

“This is clearly an era when galaxies were evolving rapidly,” the astronomers said in an article published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The team was led by Rychard J. Bouwens of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, and Garth Illingworth of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Shortly after the Hubble was refurbished in 2009, Dr. Bouwens and his colleagues observed a patch of sky known as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field in the constellation Fornax with the telescope’s new Wide Field Camera 3, which is sensitive to the long-wave “heat” radiation known as infrared. That is important because as galaxies fly away from us in the expanding universe, the light they emit is shifted to longer wavelengths — “red-shifted,” in cosmological parlance — the way a receding siren sounds lower.

That data yielded a crop of galaxies dating from 600 million to 800 million years after the Big Bang and a hint of the even earlier galaxy, in which visible light appears to have been shifted all the way into the infrared by a factor of 10, corresponding to a time of only 480 million years after the universe began. After a year of testing and simulations, the team concluded that it was the most primordial galaxy yet found. Spectroscopic observations with the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope, however, are needed to cement the identification of the smudge as a galaxy.

Meanwhile, the new result fits in well with a picture cosmologists have developed from a variety of sources. In it, the first stars formed around 200 million or 300 million years after the Big Bang, and then the universe continued building more and more stars, reaching a peak of fecundity when it was about two and a half billion years old. Its glory days behind it, the cosmos is now in a middle-age slump.

They leave unclear, however, a longstanding mystery as to how the universe became transparent. As the initial fires of the Big Bang cooled, cosmologists say, the universe was enveloped in a pea-soup fog of hydrogen gas. Over the next billion years, that fog lifted as the hydrogen atoms were stripped of their electrons — ionized — by high-energy radiation, presumably from the early stars, and became transparent. The problem is that astronomers disagree on whether they have been able to find enough stars or galaxies in the very early universe yet to account for the amount of light it would have taken to burn off all the fog.
As a result, some astronomers have suggested that massive black holes could have been partly or mostly responsible for clearing the dark ages. The black holes would have whipped the space around them with high-energy particles and radiation shed by matter in its death throes.
Dr. Bouwens said it was not quite time to resort to black holes as the explanation, however; he noted that many more galaxies could be lurking in the noise just below the limits of detection for the Hubble.

“We really are not probing faint enough with the current Hubble observations to see beyond the tip of the iceberg,” Dr. Bouwens said.

The Webb telescope, which is expected to be launched later this decade once NASA figures out how to pay for it, has been designed to find these primordial galaxies and thus illuminate the dark ages.

A Collection of Posts on Astronomy; Quotes of Noble Quran, Aga Khan IV, Aga Khan III, Nasir Khusraw, Abu Yakub Al Sijistani and Aristotle

Easy Nash

In Shia Islam, intellect is a key component of faith. Intellect allows us to understand the creation of God: Aga Khan IV(2008)
The Qur'an itself repeatedly recommends Muslims to become better educated in order better to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
The Quran tells us that signs of Allah's Sovereignty are found in the contemplation of His Creation: Aga Khan IV(2007)
This notion of the capacity of the human intellect to understand and to admire the creation of Allah will bring you happiness in your everyday lives: Aga Khan IV(2007)
Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation: Aga Khan IV(2006)
The Holy Qu'ran's encouragement to study nature and the physical world around us gave the original impetus to scientific enquiry among Muslims: Aga Khan IV(1985)
The first and only thing created by God was the Intellect(Aql): Prophet Muhammad(circa 632CE)