Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 

 

Peter Diamandis

Galactic 'rain' could be the key to new star formation

RATE THIS! +18
Posted in Science on 7th Mar, 2015 07:41 PM by AlexMuller

Some of the galaxies in our universe are star nurseries. For example, our own Milky Way galaxy produces, on average, at least one new star every year. Others went barren many years ago, and now they are producing few if any new stars. Why that happens is a question that has dogged astronomers for years.

 

Now, more than 20 years of research by a team led by Michigan State University has culminated in what might be the answer to that elusive question. According to a study published in the journal Nature, galactic "rain" may be the key to whether a galaxy is fertile. "We know that precipitation can slow us down on our way to work," said Mark Voit, an MSU professor of physics and astronomy who led the research team. "Now we know it can also slow down star formation in galaxies with huge black holes."

 
Obviously it's not in the form of rain or snow, but rather cool gas that helps make the creation of stars possible. When conditions are right, these cooling gas clouds help make stars. However, some of the clouds fall into the massive black holes that reside at the center of the galaxy clusters. That triggers the production of jets that reheat the gas like a blowtorch, preventing more stars from forming.
 
The researchers, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, analyzed X-rays from more than 200 galaxy clusters. They could pinpoint how this process of precipitation affects the environment around some of the universe's largest black holes.
 
The galaxies within these clusters are surrounded by enormous atmospheres of hot gas that normally would cool and form many stars. However, this is not what astronomers see. Usually there are only feeble amounts of stars forming.
 
"Something is limiting the rate at which galaxies can turn that gas into stars and planets," Voit said. "I think we're finally getting a handle on how this all works."
 
While precipitation plays a key role in some galaxies, the researchers found other galaxies where the precipitation had shut off. In these galaxies, the movement of heat around the central galaxy, perhaps due to a collision with another galaxy cluster, likely "dried up" the precipitation around the black hole.
 
A galaxy cluster can contain anywhere from 50 to 1,000 galaxies. The Milky Way is part of a cluster known as the Local Group, which contains about 50.

Tags: stargasspaceastronomygalaxyuniverse

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-03-08
+1
It is just amazing how new knowledge accumulates and how hypotheses could quickly replace each other in particular in astronomy - but this is how science works Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2017-12-17 22:27:47
    Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple added to Bloomberg.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-12-17 22:22:12
    Blue Origin flies booster and crew capsule..read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-12-17 22:19:29
    Anti-aging drugs only a few years away..read more
    Posted in Online on 2017-12-15 13:43:41
    The FCC votes to repeal the 2015 net neutrality rules..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-12-15 13:34:37
    How Clinical Trials Are Making the Case for MDMA in.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Martian landscapes formed from sand 'levitating' on a little.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists detect comets outside our solar system..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Advanced artificial limbs mapped in the brain..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Bacteria have a sense of touch..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Recurrent brain cancer: New hope with phase 1 clinical trial.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me