The 'fire circle' was discovered 11 billion light-years from Earth

In the data of more than 4,000 detected galaxies, R5519 emits strong light and has the clearest ring structure.

In a study published in the journal Nature Astronomy on May 26, a team of scientists provided detailed images of the ring galaxy R5519 , discovered by scanning data from the Hubble Space Telescope and observing from WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii, USA.

R5519 is about 11 billion light-years from Earth, which means it was formed only a few billion years after the universe emerged from the Big Bang about 13.8 billion years ago.

Of the approximately 4,000 galaxies discovered, R5519 emits the strongest light and has the clearest ring structure. So scientists delved deeper and discovered many interesting things about this galaxy.

"We have never seen such a curious thing," said Tiantian Yuan, an astronomer at Swinburne University Australia and who led the research.

Picture 1 of The 'fire circle' was discovered 11 billion light-years from Earth
Galaxy R5519 has the most obvious ring structure in the list of 4,000 detected galaxies. (Photo: James Josephides / Swinburne Astronomy Productions).

During research on R5519, Yuan and his colleagues discovered a companion galaxy called G5593.

Scientists hypothesize that these two galaxies collide several times. About 40 million years ago, G5593 hit and "penetrated" R5519, separating the galaxy into its current ring shape.

If the above hypothesis is correct, then the formation of R5519 is extremely rare, only 1 / 1,000 universe is formed in such a way.

There are still many unknowns about the appearance of this ring of fire. "We don't know if it was created from the first collision or not, it needs more data to be able to conclude , " Yuan said.

Astronomers will have to gather more data to make sure this ring-shaped galaxy is caused by a collision, not from natural development.

The authors of the study say they will use NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, to answer unexplored parts of the galaxy R5519.

Yuan says she has found another ring of galaxies, most likely made up of a similar collision in the past, and it's about 1 billion years larger than R5519.

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