Dr. Einar C. Erickson
Ancient Document Mormon Scholar
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And there was there a water spring to which the apostle went and baptized Magdonian in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.


After dominating the field of prizes for notable deed and achievements, the NOBLE PRIZE, so revered in the world, has stimulated a number of other prize giving associations.  One of the latest is the TANG PRIZE.  These will be new science prizes announced by the Taiwanese billionaire Samuel Yin.  Starting in 2014, four biennial prizes of $1.35 million each will be awarded in:  sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, law, and Chinese Studies.  In addition, winners can also propose five year research projects each worth $340,000.


NASA'S CXO, in a prolonged  study of ANDROMEDA (M31) one of the three large galaxies in our LOCAL GROUP, and found 26 new black  holes.  Previously there were nine that had been discovered, not there are 35 and counting.  The black holes are the infinitely dense remains of dead massive stars that have reached instability and imploded.  The astronomers combined 150 observations to find the X-ray fingerprints that uniquely identify these objects and published the data June 20, 2013 in  The Astrophysical Journal.  Seven of the new black holes are within 1,000 light years of the massive black hole in M31's center.  These are more than observers have found near our own massive black hole.  With 35 black holes, that is the most, outside our own Milky Way, which has a scatter of 50 black holes, than in any other galaxy.  While M31 is closer and easier to see, it also has a larger bulge around its center than some galaxies, even larger than our own, so its central neighborhood is more crowded than ours. (Astronomy October 2013, p. 14)

BLACK HOLES are responsible for 20 % of the cosmic infrared background-light from a time when structure (galaxies)  first emerged from cosmic soup.  Astronomers compare the elaborate infrared maps with the same kind of detail of X-ray maps. Black holes are the only objects that appear as "HOT SPOTS" on both of the two different kinds of maps.  (Astronomy October 2013;  Astrophysical Journal May 20, 2013)    

Black holes are being found in pairs and in nearly every galaxy examined. There are many small ones in our Milky Way. Black holes come in different sizes. The smaller have a mass of less than three times that of the Sun. Nearly every galaxy has some of these. The largest one scientists had found up to 2007 has  a mass of about three billion times the Sun's. Since then larger ones have been found. Really big black holes at the centers of galaxies probably formed by swallowing enormous amounts of gas and stars over time. (Aguilar p. 114) The study of black holes will be one of the emphasized objectives of those working out the early years of the universe.  For comparison  the American Astronomical Society meeting held in Seattle Washington on January 12, 2011, had  presented to its attendees that the heaviest known nearby black hole sits in the giant galaxy M87 near the center of the Virgo Cluster, and it has the mass of  6.5 billion solar masses.

The GALAXY CLUSTER MAP with this entry, shows a portion of a very large SUPER GALAXY CLUSTER, the curved line cutting through the left center of the Map. The MAP shows the LOCAL GROUP which includes our galaxy,  occupying the center of the diagram, the point from which various aspects of the  diagram originate.  We are in the Local Group which has 50 galaxies and counting, to the right is the large Virgo Cluster.  (Ferris p. 256)  It has thousands of galaxies.  In that cluster there is a very large galaxy, as large as our galaxy seems, our galaxy would occupy less than 1 %  of it; it is huge.  In that large galaxy is an object called M87. As will be discussed below, it is a super massive BLACK HOLE. On the Map,  from the center at the Local Group, there are rings that are spaced 20 million light years apart that provides a scale for the Map, the same in all dimensions. On the map to the right is the Virgo Cluster it is about 60 million light years from earth.  In each of the clouds of galaxies there is a number.  In Virgo the number is -3.3, which means that the cluster is 3.3 light years below the plane of the Local group.  Down in the left hand corner  is the Pavo-Indus cloud of galaxies, the number there is +12.4, which means that cloud is12.4 light  years  above the plane of the Local Group.  One could draw cross sections through the clouds and create a three dimensional picture of the galaxies above and below the local group, and show their spacial relationship to this portion of the SUPER CLUSTER. I used this  as student exercise to develop a sense of the three dimensions of the local space up to 80 million light years from earth. The SUPPER CLUSTER is defined in part by the light blue line crossing between the cluster NGC6300 and the cluster NGS5876.  Most of the  SUPER CLUSTER OF GALAXIES extends off the map beyond the upper right corner.            

Earlier Black Holes formed in the early stages of the universe may have been even larger. They are trying to figure out just exactly when that happened.  Compare the Black Hole of  M87 with the size of the black hole in our galaxy, called SAGITTARIUS A*,  a strange name but useful until details are known about it. It is being extensively studied. It was determined by 2003 to be 2.6 million solar masses. (Melia p. 149) But as of 2013 the black hole in our Milky Way has been upgraded to 4 million solar masses. (Kruesi p. 18)  ALMA (See PARTS 1 & 2) is expected to nail down a greater accuracy of size and mass now that it is up and running.  But after decades of building equipment and conducting observations on the center of our Milky Way,  Melia and others were getting a good handle on the little monster of a black hole in the center of our galaxy.  (Melia p. 123)  If you dropped just 25 solar masses of stellar material down a black hole it would release as much energy as a galaxy containing 2.5 trillion stars, the size of our galaxy which has a mass equivalent of about 2.3 trillion stars the size of our sun. That is a fair sized galaxy, but many galaxies are small and most are whimps.  The galactic population of our universe will be discussed in detail in a future entry.  

But M87 is a giant and one of the most violent Galaxies so far identified. It is the dominant galaxy and is in the center of the cluster of VIRGO .  (See MAP or diagram showing the Virgo Cluster and location of our local group of galaxies) The VIRGO CLUSTER lies near the center of the LOCAL SUPERCLUSTER. Our Local Group(LG) is on the outer edge of the super cluster some seventy million light years from M87.  M87 is very massive, it has more than three thousand billion stars,  enough to populate nearly a hundred galaxies the size of our Milky Way. We are no minor system, but M87 is huge.  It is a little egg shaped, an elliptical nearly spherical galaxy with more than ten thousand globular clusters in and around it. The billions of stars located near its center are orbiting at high velocity around the massive Black Hole. The Black hole has consumed the mass of some five billion stars like our sun, the diet consisted mostly of clouds of gas and gobbling up whole stars as well. The twin jets could be made up of irregular masses of  gas and particles left over from the dismemberment of  massive stars  and sling shotted away from the realm of the black hole. (Ferris p. 111 )  Charles Messier, (1730-1817), compiled  a famous catalogue of 103 nebulae, fuzzy objects in the sky,  he thought might be comets. He prefixed them all with an M and gave them a number. Most turned out to be galaxies beyond our own. The giant galaxy M87 w as No. 87.  (Harrison p. 67)

MESSIER NO. 87 (M87)  is noted for its bright jet that projects like a boney finger from its core. The jet is considered to be composed of hot, thin, ionized gas, a plasma, shot from the center of the galaxy. It glows with a intense blue light produced by synchrotron radiation generating cosmic radio noise. The gas of the jet is being propelled through the galactic magnetic field with such violence that its energy has been shifted up from radio wavelengths into the more energetic wavelengths of visible light. It is about fifteen thousand years old, but its energy is such that is has achieved a length of more than five thousand light-years. But by galactic standards it just appeared like a sudden bolt of lightning. The jet is emerging along one of the axes of the rotation of  M87, its north pole; with an opposite jet on the other side. The observed jet is pointed somewhat in our direction. (Ferris pp. 109-110) Five photos in color and black and white are on pages 109-110  of the book by Timothy Ferris. As the twin jets slow down and dissipate and coast on into space, the energy level will drop back into radio wavelengths and M87 will have a radio wavelength profile, so several types of instruments will be used to plumb its details, which is what happened to eventually permit identifying the central mass as a huge massive black hole.


In our Galaxy, the neighborhood of Sagittarius A*, our Black Hole,  is replete with particles because of images taken by the CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATORY, (CXO).  CXO was formerly known as the ADVANCED X-RAY ASTROPHYSICS FACILITY, (AXAF).   When launched in 1999 it was the state-of-the-art detector.  It was renamed the CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATORY (CXO) in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, SUBRAHMANYAN CHANDRASEKHAR,  and was set into space by the Space Shuttle. It was 45 feet long, weighed more than 50 tons, and was the largest object, until then, ever placed in Earth orbit by the Space Shuttle.

The nickname CHANDRA, means "moon" in Sanskrit, is a very fitting name for this mission, recognizing Chandrasckhar's tireless devotion to the pursuit of truth. During his life, he made fundamental contributions to the theory of black holes and other phenomena that the CXO was intended to study.  He is widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. He won the Nobel prize in 1983 for his theoretical work on the physical processes that govern the structure and evolution of stars. With the ability to distinguish features barely one-twentieth of a light year across at the distance  to the galactic center, CXO provided X-ray images that are 50 times more detailed than those of any previous missions,  It  will of course be out done by new instruments coming on stream and other's being constructed.  Two new powerful NASA telescopes will be providing data before 2020,. (Melia pp. 122, 147)  providing funds are obtained. The telescopes are being developed by the University of Colorado at Boulder and NASA. They are part of the MICROARCSECOND X-RAY IMAGING MISSION,  (MAXIM).  With an ultimate resolution 3 million times better than that of THE CHANDRA X-RAY TELESCOPE, (CXT=CXO).  The main MAXIM mission will consist of a fleet of 33 spacecraft, each containing a relatively small telescope, but by combining the data gathered by so many separate instruments distributed over an extraordinarily large baseline in space, one may achieve a resolution of the sky about a factor of a million times better than what is currently attainable. Think of the technology involved in this!  "A ground based optical telescope with the same capacity would enable us to read a news paper on the lunar surface." ( Melia pp. 146-147) 


From the air above the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, one could see a flowerlike pattern of seven large circles painted next to the parking lot. The representation drawn on the asphalt is that of the mirror design for the GIANT MEGELLAN TELESCOPE (GMT), a 24.4 meter instrument that a consortium led by Carnegie wants to build in Las Companas, Chile.  A rival project is the THIRTY METER TELESCOPE (TMT), that was planned for a Hawaiian mountain top.  The architects of GMT and the TMT had expected the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to bear a significant part of the sizable cost of the two instruments. GMT's price tag stands at $700 million and TMT's at $1.l billion.  In December 2011 NSF announced that it would not be able to support construction of either project in this decade. The best the agency can offer, as of December 30, 2012,  was a chance at $135 million over 5 years to continue their planning.  James Ulvested, head of NSF's astronomy division says: "It's just a consequence of budget realities." (Science Vol. 335 13 January 2012 p. 155)  Though, the plan is that if funds become available, NSF will contribute to the projects.

The two projects are on their own for the indefinite future.  Some large scientific undertakings are suffering a financial crunch, others are proceeding with immense projects. The EUROPEAN SPACE OBSERVATORY (ESO)  began formal funding of the 39.2 meter EUROPEAN EXTREMLY LARGE TELESCOPE (EELT) , which ESO expects to build at a cost in Euros  of  1.1 billion over the next decade.

GMT does not plan to alter their plans. Astrophysicist Wendy Freedman, director of the GMT board, plans for the consortium to start construction in 2013 without or without the NSF funding.  GMT has received $ 250 million in gifts and commitments including 10 % from Australia, South Korea, and the Carnegie Institution. So, GMT will move forward. 

TMT will also proceed optimistically.  Richard Ellis, an astronomer and member of the TMT board, at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) expects steps will be taken to ensure that U.S. astronomers will one day have access to this telescope.

Both teams hatched their plans after the 2000 decadal survey by the US National Academies recommended the construction of a GIANT SEGMENTED MIRROR TELESCOPE (GSMT) as a top priority  for U.S. astronomy.  (Bhattacharjee p. 155)

The TMT's mirror is made up 492 pieces.  The GMT features seven 8.4 meter wide mirrors. Initial attempts to merge the two projects were unsuccessful because of differences in technological approach and personality clashes. A factor that looms large over many projects. The TMT collaboration has received commitments of  $350 million, which includes a $250 million pledge from the Gordon and Betty Moore foundation and a $100 million pledge from Caltech and the University of California.  Japan and Canada are each expected to chip in 20 % of the overall cost. China and India are both considering a 10 % share. The world is interested in what there is out there in the cosmos to discover and to know it in detail.  

Each Team has invested millions of dollars and time in developing the necessary technologies, from the actuators that will control the positions of the mirrors to the processes by which light collected by the mirrors will be converted into images.  Private and foreign donors and partners were expected to supplement NSF's contribution.  Each team has lobbied for federal support. An impatient Congress directed NSF to avoid any further delay in picking a viable GSMT project, tucked into the 2012 appropriations bill for NSF and several other agencies, urged that the selection be made, forcing NSF to put out the solicitation.  They would like to find the best project that would have community participation in the future.  NSF expects to make one award not two, in effect picking a winner between GMT and TMT.  It means they would each have to write a 250 or so page proposal for just $250,000 per year for the time being.  At least that would be a beginning of an engagement with the federal government.  (Bhattacharjee p. 155)  But financial circumstances could change. Doesn't it always?


On January 24, 2013, the NATIONAL SPACE AGENCY (NASA) joined the  EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY (EUCLID) in a $1.3 billion mission to explore the  'DARK' parts of the universe.  EUCLID is a space telescope that will measure the location and shapes of some 2 billion distant galaxies. The data will be used to probe dark matter and dark energy. Under the agreement, 40 NASA scientists are joining the project and  NASA will contribute 20 infrared super sensitive  detectors, valued at around  $50 million for each instrument on the spacecraft. The mission is scheduled to launch in 2020. (Nature Vol. 493, p. 582, 3l January 2013)


The HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE and  THE RELATIVISTIC HEAVY ION COLLIDER combine their data to interpret the early history of the BB.  It was in 2003 that the HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE (HST) (SEE PARTS 1 & 4) was pointed south of the constellation ORION, into the region of FORNAX, an area in the constellations devoid of foreground stars and therefore very limited obstructions to take a long penetrating  gaze into the depths of space. The observation lasted for 11.3 days, it was  intended to gather images of distant galaxies to discern patterns in their sizes, shapes and colors and anything new.  They were working on a general idea that had been developing from on-going observations of deep space, and work at the RELATIVSTIC HEAVY ION COLLIDER (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory since 2000 on the limits of ordinary matter.  There is a lot of collaboration between cosmologists and collider specialists. All ordinary matter consists of protons and neutrons, collectively called nucleons, which are bound together in atomic nuclei, and electrons. The elemental constituents of protons and neutrons are quarks, which almost always remain confined inside nucleons, or any other particle made up of quarks, called HADRONS.  The fundamental force that binds quarks together-the strong, or "color" force, cannot be overcome unless extremely high-energy conditions are created, such as through heavy-particle collisions or nuclear fusion or fission.  The hydrogen atom is made up of two UP-QUARKS, and one DOWN QUARK, the neutron is made up of two DOWN QUARKS, and one UP QUARK.  (Cadogan p. 164) The original plasma had to cool enough that QUARKS could emerge in an era of high temperature, THE QUARK MATTER ERA.  And then further cool so the QUARKS would form in triplets to create ORDINARY MATTER.  In ORDINARY MATTER,  the QUARKS can only be added or removed in triplets and in low temperatures they form the nucleons which are bound together in atomic nuclei. (Muller p. 1513)  As they follow back in time each of the objects being observed, galaxies, stars, matter, the trail leads back to  A SINGLE LOCATION  in time and space for the beginning of everything. (Clegg p. 93)  And then, what was before that, or what was in this single location that could initiate the BB?  A lot of theorist are busy on that one. With the RHIC they are learning about the limits of ordinary matter and can get a grasp on the conditions that prevailed between the early rapid expansion of the BB and the first theorized 370,000 years when the cooling permitted HADRONS to form.  Until recently, the nearest they were able to probe towards the BB is a fleeting 10-43 seconds at which time they believe there was only one force of nature, GRAVITY.  It is at this point that we enter the  PLANCK ERA, about which very little is known except that the temperature of the universe was 1030 Kelvins and the scale of the entire universe was a miniscule 10-35  meters. It is wrapping the mind around these three features that gives theorists the jitters. This is one of the places where Relativity and the very large, do not mesh with Quantum Mechanics and the ultra small.  Something is not right and they are working on it all the time.  To have come this far and find that the great theories cannot be reconciled is very frustrating.  The result would a Theory of Everything.                 

With the HST they want to investigate the events at the DAWN OF LIGHT (DAL). Other instruments are designed to investigate what preceded the beginning of light. The thinking is  that raw material (energy ?)was present as a hot, ionized plasma of  hydrogen and helium that emerged from the BB, then rapidly cooled as the universe expanded. Once its temperature had cooled enough, and they estimated this would have been about 370,000 years after the BB, protons and electrons combined to make neutral atoms and created a light absorbing haze that plunged the universe into a cosmic dark age. This would clear as the universe continued to expand.  They know that this cosmic haze was almost perfectly uniform at the start--but immediately began to clump together as gravity began to magnify slight fluctuations in the materials density.  After a long time several hundred million years the densest of the growing clumps began to form the first stars, which ignited by thermonuclear fusion and reionized the neutral gas that remained. The subject of reionization will be part of a future study. The veil of gas became a transparent  plasma again, brining the cosmic dark ages to a spectacular end. (Cowen p. 555)  Here very little is certain, but they are working on it. The formation of succeeding generations of stars and galaxies was a swirling chaos of heating and cooling gas clouds, detonating supernova, black hole accretions and fierce stellar winds strong enough to eject matter from small galaxies--a process far too complex to understand without the extensive observations they were making.   

The HUBBLE  returned to its observations and in early 2004 revealed that the observed field was filled with a multitude of faraway galaxies seen as they were billions of years ago. In August and September of 2009, the HUBBLE ULTRA DEEP FIELD (HUDF)  was re-examined in an additional two-day exposure taken by the HUBBLE WIDE FIELD CAMERA 3,  (WFC3), an instrument installed by astronauts the previous May that is exquisitely sensitive at infrared wavelengths-exactly where visible and ultraviolet light from the farthest galaxies is expected to end up after being red shifted by the cosmic expansion. (Cowen p. 555)  WFC3 could detect distant galaxies about 30 times fainter than its predecessor could, or about 4 billion times fainter than anything visible to the human eye. (Cowen p. 555)

The astronomers initially thought that they might have caught one of the very first generations of galaxies in the act of being born. When they estimated the objects distance and composition by examining their colors in three different filters, the faint smudges were far too dim for HUBBLE  to get a spectrum, the team found they were relatively blue, exactly as expected of extremely young galaxies glimpsed in their first frenzy of star formation.

At the request of NASA,  Garth Illingworth, Richard  Bouwens and Pascal Oesch, spent a week staring into their computer screens at the University of California, Santa Cruz,  in September 2009. They had the entire early universe all to themselves.  They were scanning through hundreds of black and white portraits of faint galaxies recorded in a multi-day time exposure by a newly installed infrared camera on the HST. They were previewing the images and to make sure that the camera was working correctly before the agency released the data.  They were hoping to find more, perhaps some of the smudges of light on the images would prove to be among the first galaxies to form in the universe less than l billion years after the BB. Even a faint glimpse of such objects could provide fresh insights into some of the biggest questions in cosmology, ranging from the  nature  of the first stars to the tumultuous beginnings of galaxy formation. 


One  distant galaxy seemed to be the most distant yet found. It lies some 13.2 billion light years away.  It would date from a time only 480 million years after the BB. They think the first galaxies would have formed about 200 million years after the BB. They were pushing the HUBBLE technology to its limits. The galaxy seems to be relatively diminutive, measuring hardly l percent as large as our own Milky Way. They spent months doing tests to confirm it.  They expect to find even earlier galaxies but more advanced optics will be required. The JWST will probably do that. (Bill Andrews Astronomy, May 2011, p. 18)

The NSA/ESA team had focused on two dozen tiny candidate images, each dim and grainy that might easily be noise in the camera's digital sensors. But as their analysis proceeded, it became clear that the patches of light had the right color, appearing only in the camera's reddest filters, exactly what could be expected of new born galaxies seen at a very great distance and very high red shift!  And when the three colleagues started digitally adding together exposures of each fuzzy image, says Illingworth, "suddenly there they were",  undeniable images of galaxies. Garth Illingworth, UC Santa Cruz,  went on to exclaim "that week in September was one of the most exciting times of my career!"  In their subsequent papers they detailed the first ever collection of more than 20 galaxies from the Age of Galaxy Formation (AGF) , some 13 billion years ago, when the cosmos was only 600 million years to 800 million years old.  Other researchers have made further observations of the same small patch of sky, known as the HUBBLE ULTRA-DEEP FIELD ( HUDF)  and four other larger regions.  They have expanded that initial roster of 20 images to some 1,400 young galaxies from the same era. (Cowen p. 555) "It's a heady time for early-universe astronomers.  We're looking at our origins. The first galaxies were the building blocks of the Milky Way, and the desire to understand them is a search for our roots." (Avi Loeb, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Nature Vol. 497,  20 May 2013, p. 555)        

Such observations are a major goal of the HUDF project, which aims to gather enough images of distant galaxies to discern patterns in their sizes, shapes and colors. Located south of Orion in the constellation FORNAX in a patch of dark sky devoid of foreground stars and galaxies, and just as expected, an 11.3 day time exposure of the field taken by HUBBLE in late 2003  and early 2004 revealed that the field examined filled with a multitude of faraway galaxies seen as they were billions of years ago.


A team of Astronomers led by Richard Ellis at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, re-examined a small part of the centre of the HUDF in 2012. this time with an additional color filter and  time exposure totaling about 23 days.  The new observations reported in January 2013 at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach California, revealed that the galaxies are in fact redder, and therefore contain older stars, than initially calculated. The very youngest galaxies that HST  imaged and identified appeared 560 million to 780 million years after the BB, and contained stars that are 100 million to 200 million years old. Those galaxies had already been around for at least that long.

Brant Robertson of the University of Arizona, Tucson, explained puzzling features of the tumultuous era of reionization revealed by the new observations. This was the time when the first galaxies were growing bigger and more numerous, and when ultraviolet light from the first stars was becoming strong enough to ionize the veil of thick hydrogen gas that enveloped them. Other observations show that reionization began roughly 350 million years after the BB and that it was complete at a cosmic age of nearly l billion years. Starlight, then, could stream freely into space and the cosmos was mostly transparent, just as we see it today. (Cowen p. 555)

Although the galaxies HUBBLE saw in 2009 and 2012, were the largest and brightest ones around all those billions of years ago,  there was simply not enough of them to reionize the universe. This means, according to Elli, Robertson and their colleagues, that there must have been a large population of unseen small galaxies that did most of the work. A conclusion also reached by Illingworth and his team. So, more work yet to be done!

The data from the growing catalogue was already hinting at a still unseen time when the  infant universe thronged with countless small galaxies and was lit by primordial stars so massive that they burned out and blew up in a cosmic eye blink. A new generation of instruments promises to bring that era into clearer view. These already include ALMA, the ATACAMA LARGE MILLIMETER/SUBMILLIMETER ARRAY, or radio telescopes in Chile, which already is beginning such observations and HUBBLE'S  successor the infrared JAMES WEB SPACE TELESCOPE (JWST) which, however, will not be launched until 2018.  Patience!


The results indicate there is a whole population of small galaxies at even earlier times than detected by the HUBBLE. The newer telescopes ALMA and JWST will be working to determine how these bodies formed and how they coalesced into the larger galaxies that came later.  Emphasis will be on the very first generation of stars, which coalesced from almost pure helium and hydrogen forged in the BB.  The present working theory is that they were more than 100 times as massive as our Sun, far larger than any stars that form today.  The search will be to find any that may have survived in the galaxies that HUBBLE  can see. Their extreme size would cause these stars to destroy themselves in spectacular supernova explosions after only some 2 million years. But did they? Did their death delay the birth of the next generation of stars  by disrupting the thick interstellar gas clouds in which new stars were forming?

Theorist Volker Bromm at the University of Texas at Austin, says No! He was not involved in the 2009 and 2012 HUDF studies. But because the color of the galaxies seen in the ultra-deep field indicate that they had been forming stars for at least 100 million years already, suggests that there was little or no lag between the death of the very first generation of stars and the birth of the second. The generations may even have overlapped, but the untangling of exactly what happened will be a job for the new instruments and the future telescopes.  After all, they have to have something to do.


Because of all the new data and questions yet to be answered, the  HUBBLE  Astronomers, working with NASA are pursuing a tactic that could turn the observatory into a telescope as powerful as the JWST will be, but along some limited fields of view.  Astronomers are now scanning the heavens to select six fields to view that, unlike the HUDF, each contains a high mass cluster of foreground galaxies. Based on Einstein's predictions, such clusters act as cosmic zoom lenses, gravitationally magnifying and brightening images of distant GALAXIES that lie directly behind them.  So HUBBLE'S  visible-light and infrared cameras will take turns at looking through those lenses to examine distant galaxies 10 to 50 times fainter than any previously known.  They should be able to also observe the smallest galaxies whose existence is indicated by the reionization data. "It will take the next two years to collect the data from the first four of the "frontier fields" scheduled to be completed," says Mark Dickinson of the NATIONAL OPTICAL ASTRONOMY OBSERVATORY in Tucson.

ALMA, in Chile, will join the hunt for distant galaxies,  (Nature Vol. 495, pp. 146-157, 2013)  HUBBLE  records starlight and  takes microwave measurements that reveal the gas and dust that gives rise to the stars in these remote accumulations of gas and dust.  James Dunlop of the University of Edinburgh, UK, a member of the 2012  HUDF team, says this will allow ALMA to make the most accurate measurements yet of the star birth at such distances. New born stars radiate most of their light at ultraviolet wavelengths, but much of that light is absorbed by gas and dust and reradiated at infrared wavelengths, which are then red shifted by cosmic expansion into ALMA'S millimeter range.  ALMA'S high spatial resolution will enable the array to break radio emissions into their component wavelengths and therefore record the actual red shifts providing bona fide measurements of distance. Then Chris Carilli at the NATIONAL RADIO ASTRONOMY OBSERVARTORY (NRAO) , in Socorro, New Mexico, can take the data of the remote galaxies HUBBLE has studied and translate those distance measurements into ages, which will give them a much better handle on where these objects fit in cosmic history.  Carilli says: "Hubble has been amazing at finding candidate galaxies from red shifts 7 to 10, but none of these  has been confirmed with spectra and the potential for  [spurious candidates] is severe." (Cowen p. 556)  The resolution by spectra of the radiation  emitting body is critical.

Carilli and his collaborators reported in February  2013 that ALMA can measure red shift 7 galaxies that are 12.9 million light years from Earth, using just 20 of its 66 antenna, and can quickly make the jump to red shift 8 by the end of 2013. And as the array gets the expected new set of receivers, it will be able to study  and measure distances to galaxies out to red shift 11. Those objects would be seen as they appeared just 425 million years after the birth of the universe. ALMA could become the "red shift machine of choice" for the first galaxies ever formed until future planned instruments join the hunt. (Cowen p. 556)

They will still want to image the objects, that will have to wait until the JWST, an optical telescope, is operational, then they will get the detailed images of the primitive bodies that HUBBLE  can only glimpse now. They are looking for the earliest ancestors of  modern galaxies such as the Milky Way.  So HUBBLE observations provides the first hints of the first galaxies, now the JWST is needed to push back the time to even earlier eras from just before 200 million years to 500 million years after the BB so the earliest eras can be studied. (Cowen p. 556) 


The early history of star formation is of up most importance and interest, so there will be more on this subject in future studies. Determining the early history of star formation will require the efforts of the largest ground and space-based  telescopes under construction and will include the JWST, and THE EUROPEAN EXTREMLEY LARGE TELESCOPE, and the LARGE SYNOPTIC SURVEY TELESCOPE.  Progress in models and theory development requires larger computers and massive parallel computer clusters. A clear picture of star formation will under pin our understanding of the evolution of galaxies and the history of the production and distribution of the element heavier than helium, including those necessary for planet formation and for LIFE. (Mark Mac Low p. 1541)

 The planned new instruments will have plenty to see.  Before the era of the first stars at 13.5 billion years ago, is the COSMIC DARK AGE (CDS)  so they will be able to form a more complete picture of the COSMOS.  Immediately after the BB, the universe was uniform, homogeneous, and completely free of stars.  Simplistically, the gravitational collapse of dark matter gathered gas with it that cooled, collapsed further, and  formed stars. Observations over the past 20 years have revealed the dynamic star-formation history of the universe. The star formation rate got off to a good start more than 13.5 billion years ago, and peaked  about 10 billion years ago, when stars formed an order  of magnitude faster than in the modern universe. Deep observations have begun to reveal the early history of star formation, but how quickly star formation started remains  to be learned with results from observations of early galaxies suggesting a slow start than distributions of distant gamma-ray bursts that trace young stars. Simulations using standard prescriptions for energetic feedback from star formation from stellar explosions and ionizing radiation, have tended to predict a substantially earlier peak than either of these methods now show.

Star-forming galaxies light up the sky, whereas fainter filaments trace the distribution of dark matter that draws the gas together gravitationally into the numeral models now used. Understanding the history of star formation over cosmic  time remains a major theoretical and observational challenge, awaiting new input from new observations that will be coming. (Mark Mac Low p. 1541) 


Both the Antarctica and the Arctic have been the subject of studies for possible locations of specialized observatories.  Both locations offer frigid temperatures, dry air, endless nights for observations.  The Great White North has some practical advantages over the Antarctic. Antarctica seems to have received more than its share with operating instruments already in place.   A  study in 2012 in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, of which I am a member, suggests that the Canadian High Arctic is also a good spot for ground based optical astronomy.

The study describes data collected by an all-sky wide-field camera mounted under a Plexiglas dome on the roof of CANADA'S POLAR ENVIRONMENT ATOMOSPHERIC RESEARCH LABORATORY  (CPEARL), located at 80o  north latitude . The Arctic site has very clear dark skies, making it good for high-quality photometry.  It does not suffer from strong low level atmospheric turbulence found on the Antarctic plateau, which can distort images. And unlike the Antarctic, the Canadian site is accessible via road and has an all-weather air strip large enough for jet aircraft. Overall the spectroscopy can be done at the Arctic site 68 % of the time and high-precision photometry about half the time.  (http://scim.ag/HighArctic; Science Vol. 335,  January 2012, p. 151)  More will be available on this subject in the future.


The PLANCK SPACE TELESCOPE, (PST), sometime referred to as  THE PLANCK SATELLITE (PS) was launched in May 2009 and briefly discussed in PARTS 2 AND 4, had as its main objective the study of the COSMIC MICROWAVE BACKGRFOUND (CMB), mentioned in PART 5, but other objectives included seeing through the dust of the universe and galaxies to get information on the formation of stars.  This would be preliminary information that would be useful as data was obtained in the early period of the BB after the DARK AGES when matter could gravitationally gather into initial stars.  As PST surveys the radio sky looking for leftover radiation from the BB, it also observes the  'Stuff'  between the CMB and us, the Dusty Preview of limitations on viewing. The Planck Team began to release results from the satellite January 11, 2011, holding two separate conferences, one in Paris, France, and the other at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Seattle Washington, this was followed up by more than twenty- five additional early reports in Astronomy and Astrophysics journals.

The results reported and discussed extremely cold objects that are the precursors to baby stars. These "cores" are between 7 and 17 Kelvin (-447o and -429o  Fahrenheit) the Frigid Youth . When combining data from PST and the earlier INFRARED ASTRONOMY SATELLITE (IRAS) from two decades earlier and the results of the l-year all-sky survey of the EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY'S PLANCK  MISSION (ESAPM) and  (THE ESA/LFI & HFI CONSORTIA) and (ESA/NSA JPL CALTECH) the scientists found about 10,000 cold cores within the field they were viewing. The PST team performed follow-up observations on a number of these objects. What they found is that the typical stellar evolution concept of "cores" is slightly off  [in need of revision]  the objects aren't spherical, but instead are clumps. The smallest of these cores are about  l  light -year across, which is comparable to the extent of the solar system's Oort Cloud of icy bodies. These cores come before proto- stars in the star formation process. They compared stellar birth to human birth. The objects are equivalent to the mother's womb before anything has started to form [the blastula stage of cell proliferation].  They exist early on in the star creation process.                                                                                                                                   

Elena Pierpaoli of the University of Southern California, Los Angles, also announced a result regarding the opposite end of the temperature spectrum. The  PLANCK TEAM discovered many galaxy clusters, which contain gas with temperatures of tens to hundreds of millions of degrees. The PLANCK SKY SURVEY (PSS)  detected 189 galaxy clusters, 20 of which are possibly newly discovered clusters (12 of these have been confirmed). The other 169 had been observed mainly in X-rays and visible light; this was the first time astronomers saw radio emission associated with them. (L.K. p. 20)  The results of the COMIC MICROWAVE BACKGROUND (CMB) were released in early 2013 and briefly mentioned in PARTS  2 & 4,  and will be referred to in future PARTS. PART  8 will present more information on the contribution of  ESAPM, PSS, PST and related cosmic projects.


The EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY (ES0) had launched VISTA in 2010,  and released on January 5, 2011,  the image of the LAGOON NEBULA (M8).  By observing infrared radiation, the telescope can peer through interstellar dust. As other surveys have noted, dust is a problem.  A problem that needed to be solved in order to study the era of first stars in the Cosmos. The dust scatters visible light, so it hides any embedded objects. VISTA peered into the stellar nursery of nebula M8, penetrating beyond the veil of dust to provide the detail of a star birthing region, as part of a 5 years survey of the Milky Way.  (L.K. p. 21 ASTRONOMY  May 2011)  There they found birthing area of stars. More on this to come.

 After 26 years linking the EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY (ESA) mentioned in PARTS 2 & 4, and the EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY,  the SPACE TELESCOPE EUROPEAN COORDINATING FACILITY was closed December 31,  2011. Other coordinating commissions and facilities have taken its place.  

For nearly a decade now, and with new instruments coming on stream regularly, various teams have been studying objectives within the Milky Way, and in areas of the Cosmos out to 13.5 Billion years away that will provide the basis for understanding the details that eventually will be obtained from future instruments of the first three billion years of the history of the universe.  This includes the dust impacted star birthing nurseries of nebulas, Black Holes in Galaxies and outside galaxies, supernovae explosions that lead to the heavy elements, and the nature of all types of gas clouds, galaxies, clusters and individual stars.


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MARK MAC LOW, Mordecai, From Gas to Stars Over Cosmic time, Science Vol. 340 28 June 2013   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MELIA, Fulvio, The Black Hole at the Center of Our Galaxy, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2003

MULLER, Berndt,  Science, Vol. 332, 24 June 2011,   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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