Press Releases
Sep. 29, 2010

Discovery of a large number of ‘Monster Galaxies’ in the early universe

  • Bunyo Hatsukade (researcher, Nobeyama Radio Observatory)
  • Kotaro Kohno (professor, Institute of Astronomy, the University of Tokyo)
  • Ryohei Kawabe (professor, Nobeyama Radio Observatory)
  • Shuji Matsuura (assistant professor, Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)


Figure 1

Image of the early universe obtained by the ASTE telescope. Each bright point shows ‘monster galaxy’ which produces 1000 solar mass per year in the early universe. The top-right image is an illustration of a ‘monster galaxy’.

An international research team led by Bunyo Hatsukade of the Nobeyama Radio Observatory and Kotaro Kohno of the University of Tokyo discovered about 200 star-forming ‘monster’ galaxies in the early universe using the ASTE telescope located in Chile. From a comparison with the far-infrared image obtained by the AKARI satellite, the team found that most of the galaxies reside in the universe more than 8 billion years ago. These ‘monster’ galaxies are forming stars at a rate unseen in the present day universe - more than 1000 suns in a year. Their discovery provides the largest catalogue of ‘monster’ galaxies in the early universe. The research team also found that these ‘monster’ galaxies contribute to about 10% to 20% of the star formation activity in the early universe, giving us important clues to galaxy evolution and the star formation history of the universe. The data and the source catalog will be released to researchers around the world.

Paper information

Hatsukade et al. “AzTEC/ASTE 1.1 mm Survey of the AKARI Deep Field South: Source Catalogue and Number Counts”. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2010).