Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



STELLAR CHEMISTRY
ALMA captures duo of titanic galaxies in extreme starbursting merger
by Staff Writers
Charlottesville VA (SPX) Nov 14, 2017


Composite image of ADFS-27 galaxy pair. The background image is from ESA's Herschel Space Observatory. The object was then detected by ESO's Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX) telescope (middle image). ALMA (right) was able to identify two galaxies: ADFS-27N (for North) and ADFS-27S (for South). The starbursting galaxies are about 12.8 billion light-years from Earth and destined to merge into a single, massive galaxy.

New observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have uncovered the never-before-seen close encounter between two astoundingly bright and spectacularly massive galaxies in the early universe.

These so-called hyper-luminous starburst galaxies are exceedingly rare at this epoch of cosmic history - near the time when galaxies first formed - and may represent one of the most-extreme examples of violent star formation ever observed.

Astronomers captured these two interacting galaxies, collectively known as ADFS-27, as they began the gradual process of merging into a single, massive elliptical galaxy.

An earlier sideswiping encounter between the two helped to trigger their astounding bursts of star formation. Astronomers speculate that this merger may eventually form the core of an entire galaxy cluster. Galaxy clusters are among the most massive structures in the universe.

"Finding just one hyper-luminous starburst galaxy is remarkable in itself. Finding two of these rare galaxies in such close proximity is truly astounding," said Dominik Riechers, an astronomer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and lead author on a paper appearing in the Astrophysical Journal.

"Considering their extreme distance from Earth and the frenetic star-forming activity inside each, it's possible we may be witnessing the most intense galaxy merger known to date."

The ADFS-27 galaxy pair is located approximately 12.7 billion light-years from Earth in the direction of the Dorado constellation. At this distance, astronomers are viewing this system as it appeared when the universe was only about one billion years old.

Astronomers first detected this system with the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory. It appeared as a single red dot in the telescope's survey of the southern sky.

These initial observations suggested that the apparently faint object was in fact both extremely bright and extremely distant. Follow-up observations with the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX) telescope confirmed these initial interpretations and paved the way for the more detailed ALMA observations.

With its higher resolution and greater sensitivity, ALMA precisely measured the distance to this object and revealed that it was in fact two distinct galaxies. The pairing of otherwise phenomenally rare galaxies suggests that they reside within a particularly dense region of the universe at that period in its history, the astronomers said.

The new ALMA observations also indicate that the ADFS-27 system has approximately 50 times the amount of star-forming gas as the Milky Way. "Much of this gas will be converted into new stars very quickly," said Riechers. "Our current observations indicate that these two galaxies are indeed producing stars at a breakneck pace, about one thousand times faster than our home galaxy."

The galaxies - which would appear as flat, rotating disks - are brimming with extremely bright and massive blue stars. Most of this intense starlight, however, never makes it out of the galaxies themselves; there is simply too much obscuring interstellar dust in each.

This dust absorbs the brilliant starlight, heating up until it glows brightly in infrared light. As this light travels the vast cosmic distances to Earth, the ongoing expansion of the universe shifts the once infrared light into longer millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths, all thanks to the Doppler effect.

ALMA was specially designed to detect and study light of this nature, which enabled the astronomers to resolve the source of the light into two distinct objects. The observations also show the basic structures of the galaxies, revealing tail-like features that were spun-off during their initial encounter.

The new observations also indicate that the two galaxies are about 30,000 light-years apart, moving at roughly several hundred kilometers per second relative to each other. As they continue to interact gravitationally, each galaxy will eventually slow and fall toward the other, likely leading to several more close encounters before merging into one massive, elliptical galaxy. The astronomers expect this process to take a few hundred million years.

"Due to their great distance and dustiness, these galaxies remain completely undetected at visible wavelengths," noted Riechers. "Eventually, we hope to combine the exquisite ALMA data with future infrared observations with NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. These two telescopes will form an astronomer's 'dream team' to better understand the nature of this and other such exceptionally rare, extreme systems."

Research Report: "Rise of the Titans: a Dusty, Hyper-luminous '870-micron Riser' Galaxy at z~6," D. Riechers, 2017 Nov. 13, Astrophysical Journal

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
The star that would not die
Goleta CA (SPX) Nov 09, 2017
Supernovae, the explosions of stars, have been observed in the thousands and in all cases they marked the death of a star. Astronomers at Las Cumbres Observatory have discovered a remarkable exception - a star that exploded multiple times over a period of more than fifty years. Their observations are challenging existing theories on these cosmic catastrophes. When the supernova, named iPTF ... read more

Related Links
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
NASA Moves Up Critical Crew Safety Launch Abort Test

Brazil's tech junkies seek healing at digital detox clinic

NanoRacks launches Full External Cygnus Deployer on OA-8 to ISS

The road to Orion's launch

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
The state of commercial spaceports in 2017

Orbital ATK Successfully Tests First Motor Case for Next Generation Launch Vehicle

Orbital ATK launches eighth cargo mission to space

Vega launches Earth observation satellite for Morocco

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
How long can microorganisms live on Mars

NASA Opens $2 Million Third Phase of 3D-Printed Habitat Competition

Insight will carry over two million names to Mars

Opportunity Does a Wheelie and is Back on Solid Footing

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
China's reusable spacecraft to be launched in 2020

Space will see Communist loyalty: Chinese astronaut

China launches three satellites

Mars probe to carry 13 types of payload on 2020 mission

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Astronaut meets volcano

European Space Week starts in Estonia

New Chinese sat comms company awaits approval

Myanmar to launch own satellite system-2 in 2019: vice president

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Plasma from lasers can shed light on cosmic rays, solar eruptions

Leonardo tapped by British Royal Air Force for radar testing equipment

A new way to mix oil and water

Building better silk

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Astronomers See Moving Shadows Around Planet-Forming Star

Scientists find potential 'missing link' in chemistry that led to life on earth

18-Month Twinkle in a Forming Star Suggests a Very Young Planet

Overlooked Treasure: The First Evidence of Exoplanets

STELLAR CHEMISTRY
Jupiter's Stunning Southern Hemisphere

Watching Jupiter's multiple pulsating X-ray Aurora

Help Nickname New Horizons' Next Flyby Target

Juno Aces 8th Science Pass of Jupiter, Names New Project Manager




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement