Unveiling the properties of galaxies in the young Universe with the world’s largest telescope

The first telescopes observing in the sub-millimetre range of the electromagnetic spectrum in the 1990s discovered an intriguing population of dusty galaxies in the early Universe that are forming stars hundreds of times faster than our Milky Way. These monster starbursts are key pieces in the puzzle of how galaxies evolved at ancient cosmic times, but they are difficult to study using classic optical telescopes because their vast amounts of dust obscure the visible light shining from their stars. Recent observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), the most modern and powerful sub-millimetre telescope, allowed us to precisely locate these galaxies and measure their brightness at different wavelengths. This project focuses on understanding interstellar dust in these galaxies using theoretical models to interpret new, recently obtained ALMA observations. The results will lead to a better understanding of dust and star formation of galaxies in the young Universe. For further information: elisabete.dacunha@anu.edu.au.

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