The combined power of ESA’s Herschel space observatory and the ground-based Keck telescopes mean hundreds of previously unseen starburst galaxies have been characterized, revealing extraordinary high star-formation rates across the history of the Universe. Starburst galaxies give birth to hundreds of solar masses’ worth of stars each year in short-lived but intense events. By comparison, our own Milky Way Galaxy produces the equivalent of only one Sun-like star per year, on average.

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