Mysterious light from deep space discovered

Astronomers from the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) have found that there are 10 times more superbright galaxies in the infrared than models predict. If this is confirmed, then the light from the most distant superbright galaxies cannot be explained by the contribution of stars. The mysterious discovery is reported in an article published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

According to generally accepted concepts, the universe emerged about 13.8 billion years ago, and three billion years later, galaxies began to form relatively quickly. Since there was enough gas, a small fraction of the early galaxies turned into superluminescent galaxies with a brightness of 10 trillion Suns. Observations with the Herschel telescope have shown that this theory is largely confirmed. However, it was revealed that there are an order of magnitude more superbright galaxies in the early stages of the life of the Universe and in later eras.

To explain this discrepancy, the researchers used a much higher resolution LOFAR telescope. They confirmed that there are indeed more superbright galaxies than models predict.

High brightness arises due to either the active formation of stars, or the accretion of matter by supermassive black holes. In the first case, such galaxies would produce stars with a total mass of several thousand solar masses per year, which does not fit into theoretical models. Thus, the main scenario is the energy emitted when matter enters black holes.