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Galactic winds discovered in ancient star-forming galaxies
The scientists were able to identify the morphology of galactic winds. In this figure, magnesium atom emissions have been used to trace galactic winds. The flow of matter occurs along the central axis perpendicular to the galactic disc.
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Galactic winds discovered in ancient star-forming galaxies
by Erica Marchand
Paris, France (SPX) Dec 07, 2023

In a groundbreaking discovery, an international research team, led by a CNRS scientist, has unveiled the role of galactic winds in regulating the growth of galaxies, including those over 7 billion years old that are actively forming stars. This revelation, made possible through the use of the MUSE instrument integrated into the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, sheds light on a universal process that significantly impacts the evolution of galaxies.

Galactic winds, generated by the explosive deaths of massive stars, have long been known to exist. However, their detection has proven elusive due to their diffuse and low-density nature. To overcome this challenge, the team embarked on an ambitious project, combining images from over a hundred galaxies captured through extended exposure times.

The key to their discovery lay in studying the emission signals of magnesium atoms, allowing them to map the morphology of these elusive winds. The results were nothing short of astonishing. These galactic winds manifest as cones of matter ejected perpendicularly from both sides of a galaxy's plane, providing crucial insights into their structure and behavior.

The significance of this discovery cannot be overstated. Previously, galactic winds' role in limiting the star formation rate of galaxies had only been observed in the local universe. However, this research extends the phenomenon's reach to galaxies spanning more than 7 billion years in age, effectively categorizing it as a universal process governing galactic evolution.

As the CNRS scientist leading the research team explains, "Galactic winds play a pivotal role in the delicate balance between a galaxy's growth and its star formation rate. Understanding this phenomenon in galaxies of various ages is essential for comprehending the broader dynamics of our universe."

While this breakthrough provides invaluable insights, the research team is not resting on its laurels. Their next goal is to determine the extent of these galactic winds and quantify the amount of matter they transport. These measurements could further refine our understanding of the interplay between galactic winds and the evolution of galaxies, offering a clearer picture of the universe's intricate mechanisms.

Research Report:Observational Evidence of the Prevalence of Bipolar Galactic Outflows out to 10 kpc at z" 1 for Massive Galaxies

Related Links
CNRS
Stellar Chemistry, The Universe And All Within It

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