Stunning images show that an endangered galaxy emits 10,000 solar-valued gas annually after a huge collision every year-weakening its ability to form stars
- Researchers observed 4.5 billion-year-old galaxies in the universe
- The exhausted gas may be the result of an earlier merger with another galaxy
- This gas leak effectively caused the galaxy to stop producing new stars
A sensational image of an endangered galaxy-due to a huge collision that emits 10,000 solar-valued gas every year-has been captured by an international team of astronomers.
New research led by Durham University looks back over the past 9 billion years to find evidence that galaxy mergers in the early universe could prevent star formation.
These mergers force gas to leak out of the galaxy and weaken its ability to form new stars, effectively marking the end of its life as an active body.
The research team found that the two galaxies converge and a large amount of star-forming gas is ejected into the interstellar medium.
The researchers say that this event and the formation of a large number of stars called ID2299 in the nuclear region of the newly merged galaxy will eventually cause a single merge to lose the fuel needed to form a new star.
This will stop star formation for hundreds of millions of years, effectively preventing the development of the Milky Way.
The artist’s impression of ID2299 shows that the galaxy is the product of the Milky Way collision, and the merged gas is ejected from the “tidal tail”
Because it takes a long time to get from ID2299 to the Earth, researchers can see the Milky Way because it appeared as early as 9 billion years ago when it merged.
At that time, the universe was only 4.5 billion years old and was in the most active “young” stage of mankind.
Researchers used the Atacama Large Millimeter Wave Array (ALMA) telescope at the European Southern Observatory in southern Chile to spray approximately half of its total gas storage into the Milky Way at a rate equivalent to 10,000-Suns of natural gas per year.
Dr. Anna Grazia Puglisi, the lead author of Durham University’s Trans-Ganges Center for Astronomy, said: “We don’t yet know what exactly is the process of closing star formation in large galaxies.
“Feedback from star formation or active black holes driving wind is believed to be the main reason for driving out gas and inhibiting growth.
“Our research provides evidence that, due to the merger of two gas-rich galaxies, the gas ejected from ID2299 is likely to have gone through tidal jets.
‘So the gravitational interaction between the two galaxies can provide enough angular momentum to kick some gas out of the galaxy.
“This shows that mergers also have the ability to change the future development of galaxies by limiting their ability to form stars over millions of years, and it is worthwhile to conduct more research when considering factors that limit galaxy growth.”
By comparing their measurements with previous studies and simulations, and by measuring the physical properties of the escaping gas, the researchers were able to rule out star formation and galaxy active black holes as the cause of this ejection.
The rate of exhaust gas from ID2299 is too high to be caused by energy from black holes or starbursts, as shown in previous studies.
The researchers say that simulations show that no black hole can release as much cold gas as the galaxy expelled from ID2299.
The excitation of the escaping gas is also incompatible with the wind produced by the birth of black holes or new stars.
Researchers used the Atacama Large Millimeter Wave Array (ALMA) telescope at the European Southern Observatory in southern Chile to spray about half of its total gas storage around the galaxy.
Dr. Emanuele Daddi, co-author from CEA-Saclay, said: “This galaxy is witnessing a truly extreme event.
“It may have been captured during an important physical stage of galaxy evolution that occurred in a relatively short time frame. We have to study more than 100 galaxies with ALMA to find it. “
Dr. Jeremy Finch, a researcher at the Lyon Center Research Center, added: “The study of this single event reveals that this event may not be unusual at all, and that many galaxies have suffered from this possibility of “gravitational gas scavenging.” Including misunderstanding of previous observations.
“This may have a huge impact on our understanding of what really shapes the evolution of galaxies.”
Now, researchers hope to obtain higher-resolution images of the merger of ID2299 and other distant galaxies and conduct computer simulations to further understand the impact of galaxy mergers on the life cycle of galaxies.
The research results were published in the journal Natural Astronomy.
What is ALMA?
The Atacama Large Millimeter Wave Array (ALMA) is located deep in the Chilean desert, one of the driest places on earth.
At an altitude of 16,400 feet (about half the cruising altitude of a jumbo jet) and four times the height of Ben Nevis, workers had to carry oxygen tanks to complete its construction.
It was opened in March 2013 and is the most powerful ground-based telescope in the world.
It is also the tallest on earth, close to 1 billion pounds (1.2 billion US dollars), and one of the most expensive in its class.
The Atacama Large Millimeter Wave Array (ALMA) is located deep in the Chilean desert, one of the driest places on earth.It was launched in March 2013 and is the most powerful ground-based telescope in the world