Learn It

Read the Newsela article "Astronomers discover an active, bright galaxy 'in its infancy'" Opens a new window and view the photograph of galaxy EGS-zs8-1 featured at the beginning of the article.

Read the entire article to gain an understanding of what it is saying about galaxies and what astronomers may learn by observing them.

Next, reread the excerpt below of the article’s first three paragraphs and again view the photograph of the galaxy EGS-zs8-1. As you read, analyze for and take notes about the following:

  • Information about galaxies and how scientists observe them
  • Which information is qualitative
  • Which information is quantitative
  • How the photograph represents the information presented in the excerpt

1 A team of astronomers peering deep into the heavens has discovered the earliest, most distant galaxy yet. It was spotted a record-breaking 670 million years from the Big Bang.

2 The findings are described in Astrophysical Journal Letters. They reveal a surprisingly active, bright galaxy near the very dawn of the cosmos that could shed light on what the universe, now 13.8 billion years old, was really like in its young, formative years.

3 “We’re actually looking back through 95 percent of all time to see this galaxy,” said study coauthor Garth Illingworth, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “It’s really a galaxy in its infancy ... when the universe was in its infancy.”

Newselaopens in new window, May 18, 2015

After you finish reading and analyzing the excerpt, answer the following questions.

How do the authors translate details about the distance of the galaxy between qualitative, quantitative and visual information? Think about the answer to this question and then click Show Answer.

How do the authors translate between qualitative and quantitative information when explaining the age of the galaxy? Think about the answer to this question and then click Show Answer.

What qualitative information in the excerpt is not translated into quantitative information as well? Think about the answer to this question and then click Show Answer.