Updated 05:58 AM EDT, Fri, Aug 14, 2020

Astronomers Name Newly-Discovered CR7 Galaxy After Real Madrid Star Cristiano Ronaldo

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A team of scientists from the University of Lisbon in Portugal has named a newly discovered galaxy after Cristiano Ronaldo.

Several sources, including Eurosport, said that team leader David Sobral is a huge football fan and was inspired by the Real Madrid star. The galaxy is 13 billion years old and is now bearing the name COSMOS Redshift 7 or CR7. Ronaldo also goes by the same nickname.

"It's an exceptionally rare object -- by far the hottest we've observed at this stage of the universe," Sobral said in a press release, as quoted by Eurosport. The announcement was made through the European Southern Observatory, ESPN noted.

Using ESO's Very Large Telesecope (VLT), astronomers found out that the CR7 galaxy "is three times brighter than the brightest distant galaxy known up to now," ESO.org wrote.

According to a report from BBC, the CR7 galaxy contains cluster of stars which is "thought to have provided conditions pivotal for life to flourish." These chemical elements essential to life, such as nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, and iron, can be found in the stars. Sobral said that the stars "allowed us all to be here by fabricating heavy elements and changing the composition of the universe," as reported by BBC.

The Portuguese forward uses CR7 as a combination of his initials and shirt number, BBC noted. Ronaldo won the Fifa Ballon d'Or award in 2013 and 2014 and scored an astounding 66 goals this season.

ESO Astronomy's Facebook page posted an artist's impression of the CR7 galaxy accompanied by the caption.

"The discovery challenged our expectations from the start, as we didn't expect to find such a bright galaxy," Sobral explained, as reported by ESO.org. "Then, by unveiling the nature of CR7 piece by piece, we understood that not only had we found by far the most luminous distant galaxy, but also started to realize that it had every single characteristic expected of Population III stars. Those stars were the ones that formed the first heavy atoms that ultimately allowed us to be here. It doesn't really get any more exciting than this."

Jorryt Matthee, second author of the study, said that the calcium in humans' bones, the carbon in the muscles, and the iron in the blood, were initially formed by the first generation of stars when the Universe was just beginning, ESO.org reported.

The VLT, which contains the X-shooter and SINFONI instruments, found tough ionized helium emissions in CR7, but scientists have not found any heavier elements in the galaxy. According to ESO.org, this means that the CR7 has clusters of Population III stars that held ionized gas inside a galaxy in the early Universe.

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