HFLS3 is Earliest Starburst Galaxy Ever Observed

Posted on April 17, 2013

HFLS3 Starburst Galaxy

Astronomers have announced the discovery of a new galaxy, called HFLS3, in the early universe. The massive galaxy started churning out stars when the cosmos was just 880 million years old. The discovery was made using the European Space Agency's Herschel space observatory. An artist's impression of HFLS3 is pictured above. The research was published in the journal Nature.

The astronomers say the galaxy is a "maximum-starburst" galaxy. It produces stars at a rate 2,000 times greater than the Milky Way. It generates the mass equivalent of 2,900 suns per year.

Jamie Bock, co-author of the paper and professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said in a statement, "This galaxy is just one spectacular example, but it's telling us that extremely vigorous star formation is possible early in the universe."

Photo: ESA-C. Carreau