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A massive stellar bulge in a regularly rotating galaxy 1.2 billion years after the Big Bang

Lelli, Federico, Di Teodoro, Enrico M., Fraternali, Filippo, Man, Allison W. S., Zhang, Zhi-Yu, De Breuck, Carlos, Davis, Timothy A. and Maiolino, Roberto 2021. A massive stellar bulge in a regularly rotating galaxy 1.2 billion years after the Big Bang. Science 371 (6530) , pp. 713-716. 10.1126/science.abc1893

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Abstract

Cosmological models predict that galaxies forming in the early Universe experience a chaotic phase of gas accretion and star formation, followed by gas ejection due to feedback processes. Galaxy bulges may assemble later via mergers or internal evolution. Here we present submillimeter observations (with spatial resolution of 700 parsecs) of ALESS 073.1, a starburst galaxy at redshift z≃5 when the Universe was 1.2 billion years old. This galaxy’s cold gas forms a regularly rotating disk with negligible noncircular motions. The galaxy rotation curve requires the presence of a central bulge in addition to a star-forming disk. We conclude that massive bulges and regularly rotating disks can form more rapidly in the early Universe than predicted by models of galaxy formation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN: 0036-8075
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 July 2021
Date of Acceptance: 17 December 2020
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2021 12:45
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/142987

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