Slow death of nearby galaxy
by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Nov 12, 2018
Astronomers from CSIRO and The Australian National University have witnessed, in the finest detail ever, the slow death of a neighbouring dwarf galaxy, which is gradually losing its power to form stars.
The new peer-reviewed study of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), which is a tiny fraction of the size and mass of the Milky Way galaxy, uses images taken with CSIRO's powerful Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope array.
Lead researcher Professor Naomi McClure-Griffiths from ANU said the features of the radio images were more than three times finer than previous SMC images, which allowed the team to probe the interactions between the small galaxy and its environment with more accuracy.
"We were able to observe a powerful outflow of hydrogen gas from the Small Magellanic Cloud," said Professor McClure-Griffiths from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at ANU.
"The implication is the galaxy may eventually stop being able to form new stars if it loses all of its gas. Galaxies that stop forming stars gradually fade away into oblivion. It's sort of a slow death for a galaxy if it loses all of its gas."
Professor McClure-Griffiths said the discovery, which is part of a project that investigates the evolution of galaxies, provided the first clear observational measurement of the amount of mass lost from a dwarf galaxy.
"The result is also important because it provides a possible source of gas for the enormous Magellanic Stream that encircles the Milky Way," she said.
"Ultimately, the Small Magellanic Cloud is likely to eventually be gobbled up by our Milky Way."
CSIRO co-researcher Dr David McConnell said ASKAP was unrivalled in the world for this kind of research due to its unique radio receivers that give it a panoramic view of the sky.
"The telescope covered the entire SMC galaxy in a single shot and photographed its hydrogen gas with unprecedented detail," he said.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe, and is the main ingredient of stars.
"ASKAP will go on to make state-of-the-art pictures of hydrogen gas in our own Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds, providing a full understanding of how this dwarf system is merging with our own galaxy and what this teaches us about the evolution of other galaxies," Dr McConnell said.
Aging a Flock of Stars in the Wild Duck Cluster
Tucson AZ (SPX) Nov 08, 2018
Do star clusters harbor many generations of stars or just one? Scientists have long searched for an answer and, thanks to the University of Arizona's MMT telescope, found one in the Wild Duck Cluster, where stars spin at different speeds, disguising their common age. In a partnership between the UA and the Korean Astronomy and Space Science Institute, a team of Korean and Belgian astronomers used UA instruments to solve a puzzle about flocks of stars called open clusters. Astronomers have lo ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - 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. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.|