A deep look at the MUSE spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope showed cosmic reservoirs of atomic hydrogen around distant galaxies. The sensitivity of the instrument made it possible to directly survey the dim clouds of hydrogen glowing with Lyman-alpha emissions in the early Universe.
A deep observation in the MUSE spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope revealed cosmic reservoirs of atomic hydrogen around distant galaxies. The sensitivity of the instrument made it possible to directly survey the dim clouds of hydrogen, glowing with Lyman-alpha emissions in the early Universe. It turns out the night sky is ablaze!
Astronomers are used to the fact that the sky is different depending on the wavelength, but the degree of radiation observed by Lyman-alpha is really surprising. The whole sky glows from distant clouds of hydrogen - the first building block of the universe.
The HUDF area observed by the team otherwise seems to be a completely unremarkable area in the constellation Pec. Its detailed map was provided by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2004 after 270 hours of observation.
The HUDF survey showed that thousands of scattered galaxies are hidden in a dark sky region. Opportunities MUSE allowed to look even deeper. Detection of Lyman-alpha radiation is the first time astronomers have been able to see this type of gas from the shells of early galaxies. The composite image shows the emission in blue superimposed on the HUDF frame.
MUSE is an ultra-modern integral field spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope of the Paranal Observatory. At the moment of observing the sky, MUSE sees the distribution of wavelengths in the light striking every pixel on the detector. A review of all light spectra allows us to better understand the astrophysical processes of space.
There is still no clear understanding of what causes these distant clouds of hydrogen to release Lyman-alpha waves. Future research is expected to find the cause through more sensitive measurements.