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Discovery of a Distant Monster Galaxy "Orochi"

A team led by researchers at Nobeyama and the University of Tokyo has discovered an extremely bright distant galaxy using the ASTE telescope in northern Chile. The apparent brightness of this galaxy, named "Orochi" after an ancient eight-forked serpent, turned out to be more than ten times brighter than the brightest galaxies discovered to date in the distant universe. This is an extremely rare galaxy that is forming new stars at a rate exceeding 1000 stars a year.

The team used various telescopes around the world, including ASTE, and found that Orochi's tremendous brightness is likely caused by "gravitational lensing" by a foreground galaxy. Gravitational lensing is a physical process that occurs when two galaxies are precisely aligned along the line of sight.

This work has been published in the "Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society", Volume 415, Page 3081-3096, "Detection of an ultrabright submillimetre galaxy in the Subaru/XMM–Newton Deep Field using AzTEC/ASTE"