Astronomers can see far away The galaxy It dies as it bleeds cold gas into space.
This gas is necessary for star formation. Galaxies die when they can no longer do so.
For the first time, astronomers could clearly see a galaxy starting to die.
Nine billion light-years away, ID2299 galaxy loses critical cold gas that helps form new stars. Every year, enough gas bleeds out to make 10,000 suns. Indeed, it has lost nearly half of its cold gas. The rest is used to form new stars, at a rate hundreds of times faster than the Milky Way.
At this rate, the galaxy will soon run out of reserve gas and be unable to form new stars. For a galaxy, this is death.
The team of researchers that discovered ID2299 and its imminent demise published their findings Monday in the journal Natural Astronomy.
They believe that ID2299 formed after two galaxies collided together and merged, creating a new galaxy. This resulting galaxy has an extruded “tidal tail”, from which streams of stars and interstellar material blast into space.
Tidal tails often form when the outer layers of galaxies are stripped away as they merge. Typically such tails in distant galaxies are too faint for astronomers on Earth to see them, although they have been discovered in hundreds of galaxies. Researchers discovered this when it began expanding into space. This is where all of the gas escapes.
The results indicate that major collisions could leave galaxies to spill vital gases into space, a process that ultimately starves them and halts star formation, and thus eliminates them.
“This is the first time that we have observed a massive model star-forming galaxy in the distant universe that is about to ‘die’ due to a massive cold gas emission,” Anagrazia Puglisi, lead author of the study and researcher at Durham University in England said in a Press release.
More than one way to die
When stars form, they produce wind. Scientists believe that there is a black hole at the center of each massive galaxy, which also produces winds as it devours material falling into its gravity. Astronomers believe that these winds from stars and black holes carry star-forming materials into distant space, which ultimately leads to the death of galaxies.
But the discovery of a gas-leaking ID2299 tail reveals a new path for the galaxy’s death.
“Our study indicates that gas emissions can result from mergers, and that winds and tidal tails can look very similar,” said Emmanuel Daddy, co-author of the study and an astrophysicist at the Saclay Center for Nuclear Research in France. Release. “This may lead us to revise our understanding of how galaxies die.”
The discovery could also provide hints about where our galaxy is heading. Milky Way fires puffs of Its cold gas Into a void, and it’s also on its way to Collide with the Andromeda galaxy In about 4 billion years.
“Watching such massive turbulence adds an important piece to the complex puzzle of galaxy evolution,” Chiara Circosta, co-author of the study and a researcher at University College London, said in the statement.
Researchers stumbled upon this ill-fated galaxy by chance while studying cold gas in 100 distant galaxies, using the Atacama Large Millimeter / Under Millimeter Array (ALMA) in the Chilean desert.
“I was eager to learn more about this UFO because I was convinced that there was an important lesson to be learned about how distant galaxies evolved,” Puglisi said.
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