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Astronomers Discover Most Prolific Star Factory in The Universe; Produces 3,000 Suns Per Year

By Sam Lehman | Apr 18, 2013 09:14 AM EDT

Galaxy
Astronomers discovered the tiniest galaxy in the known universe in 2009.
(Photo : Reuters)

Astronomers have discovered the most productive star factory in the universe located in a galaxy that began star formation when the universe was only 6 percent of its age now.

The production of stars has been a fascinating topic for astronomers and the discovery of the most productive star factory in the universe comes as a great achievement. The galaxy where the star formations take place has been named HFLS3 and is located at a distance of 12.8 billion light-years from the Earth.

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According to a report by Science Daily, astronomers have confirmed this star factory produces 3,000 suns per year. This is 2,000 times more than the number of stars produced in the earth's Milky Way. Astronomers say HFLS3 is huge and has a massive reservoir of gas from which new stars are formed.

Dominik Riechers of Cornell University revealed that this was the most detailed study on the physical properties of a galaxy that was this massive.

"Getting detailed information on galaxies like this is vitally important to understanding how galaxies, as well as groups and clusters of galaxies, formed in the early Universe," he said.

For all the discoveries made about this galaxy in terms of its distance and physical properties, 12 international telescope facilities were used including both orbiting and ground-based telescopes.

Scientists found that the galaxy has a mass of stars nearly 40 billion times the mass of the Sun and gas and dust totaling more than 100 billion times the mass of the Sun, all surrounded by enough mysterious dark matter to eventually build an entire cluster of galaxies.

"This galaxy is proof that very intense bursts of star formation existed only 880 million years after the Big Bang," Riechers said. "We've gotten a valuable look at a very important epoch in the development of the first galaxies."

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