Space Blob Stumps Scientists

Cosmic blob from the dawn of time confounds theories on early universe
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2009 7:53 AM CDT
Space Blob Stumps Scientists
This blob at the edge of the universe dates from close to the dawn of time and has confounded scientists, who named it Himiko after a legendary ancient Japanese queen.   (Carnegie Institution, M. Ouchi)

A gigantic blob at the edge of the universe is forcing scientists to rethink their ideas on how galaxies form, reports the BBC. The radiation-emitting object 12.9 billion light years away is one of the most distant—and consequently oldest—things ever seen by astronomers, and is much bigger than anything they had expected to exist that soon after the Big Bang.

"There are two possibilities," said one of the researchers who spotted the blob through the Subaru infrared telescope. "The standard scenario of galaxy formation is wrong, or this particular object is showing something unique." The scientists—who aren't even sure what to call the object other than "blob"—believe it may have a supermassive black hole at its center. (More space stories.)

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