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How Galaxy Collisions Quench Star-Formation

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Astronomers have detected an enormous starburst galaxy 9 billion light-years from us. The unique galaxy is tailed by a mass of star-forming gas within the outer parts of the Universe.

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array or ALMA, the astronomers believe that the Galaxy ID2299 has collided with a different galaxy, causing it to eject 46% of the star-forming gas in it at a spectacular speed of 10,000 solar masses each year.

ID2299 is a product of two galaxies that collided to form one galaxy and because of the distance, what astronomers see is the galaxy as it was when our Universe was only 4.5billion years old.

“This is the first time we have observed a typical massive star-forming galaxy in the distant Universe about to ‘die’ because of a massive cold gas ejection,” explained Dr. Annagrazia Puglisi who is the lead author, a Durham University and Saclay Nuclear Research Centre astronomer.

The general consensus among astronomers has been that star formation and black hole activity cause winds and launches into space the star-forming material that enables galaxies to form new stars.

ID2299 seems to suggest that even galactic mergers can propel the star forming material out of a galaxy and into space.

“Our study suggests that gas ejections can be produced by mergers and that winds and tidal tails can appear very similar,” elaborated CEA-Saclay astronomer and co-author Dr. Emanuele Daddi.

“I was thrilled to discover such an exceptional galaxy,” Dr. Puglisi added. “I was eager to learn more about this weird object because I was convinced that there was some important lesson to be learned about how distant galaxies evolve.”

ALMA only observed ID2299 for a few minutes, but the powerful observatory permitted the team to gather the information they needed to perceive both the galaxy and its ejection tail.

“ALMA has shed new light on the mechanisms that can halt the formation of stars in distant galaxies,” observed Dr. Chiara Circosta, a co-author and astronomer at the University College London.

“Witnessing such a massive disruption event adds an important piece to the complex puzzle of galaxy evolution.”

The presence of ID2299 was published in a paper on the journal Nature Astronomy.

Space

SpaceX Starship prototype Lands Successfully then Explodes

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SpaceX’s much anticipated Mars landing is closer than ever, after a prototype passed a high-altitude test by landing successfully on earth and exploding eight minutes later. The prototype went into the skies and landed with precision before the explosion.

Starship model SN10 was much close to the goal of a successful and safe vertical landing than versions SN8 and SN9 that came before it.

December 2020 saw SN8 perform its first high-altitude test flight which culminated in it demonstrating re-entry maneuvers before exploding during landing.

Last month, the SN9 completed a 10km flight before it landed in an explosion when one Raptor engine did not ignite.

SN10’s automated fire-suppression system came into play upon landing. The system involves a stream of water trained on the flames burning at the base. The Starship still exploded, after it had launched into the air and back into the ground. SN10 is a full prototype of the final design of the Starship.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk did not immediately comment on what went wrong, but he did tweet about the incident. “Starship 10 landed in one piece! RIP SN10, honorable discharge.”

“SpaceX team is doing great work! One day, the true measure of success will be that Starship flights are commonplace,” he added.

The Starship rocket will be a reusable launch vehicle that Musk hopes will make it affordable for humans to travel in space regularly. It will be 120cm tall and has a heavy booster.

The first round Starship flight will hopefully take place at the end of 2021. Musk hopes that he will take Yusaku Maezawa a Japanese billionaire on a trip around the moon aboard the starship by 2023.

In June 2020, Nasa astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken flew on the SpaceX to the International Space Station. It was the first time for the SpaceX rocket to take human beings to space. Elon Musk hopes that it will be only the first of many such trips.

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eROSITA X-Ray Telescope makes Largest Supernova Remnant discovery yet

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Scientists working with the eROSITA X-ray telescope have stumbled upon the most massive supernova remnant discovered yet using X rays.

Working from aboard the SRG (Spektrum-Roentgen-Gamma), the scientists want to put together X-ray technology, radio, and other wavelengths to detect supernova remnants.

“Our aim is to combine expertise across multiple wavelengths, from radio to X-ray, to search for hundreds of supernova remnants (SNRs),” explained co-author Dr. Natasha Hurley-Walker.

Walker is an astronomer with the Curtin University and works with the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR).

Adds Walker: “The eROSITA telescope is 25 times more sensitive than its predecessor ROSAT so we expected to discover new SNRs in coming years, but were pleasantly surprised to have one appear straight away.”

The just discovered SNR is one of the largest to be found using X-Ray and has won the label G249.5+24.5. Only using radio waves have scientists succeeded in spotting larger supernova remnants.

Hoinga is a whopping 90 times larger than the moon. “Adding to our excitement, Hoinga is the largest SNR ever discovered via X-rays, in terms of apparent size: about 90 times larger than the full Moon,” Dr. Hurley-Walker said.

“An enduring mystery surrounding SNRs was the shortfall between the expected number of them in our Galaxy and the number actually identified through past surveys.”

“We expect there to be about 1,200 SNRs in our Galaxy, however only about 300 have been found so far,” Walker added.

“By sifting through archival radio data we discovered Hoinga had been sitting there waiting to be discovered in surveys up to ten years old, but because it was high above the plane of the Milky Way, it was missed.”

“SNRs are not typically expected to be found at high Galactic latitudes so these areas are not usually the focus of surveys, meaning there may be even more of these overlooked remnants out there waiting to be discovered.”

“The radio observations made it possible for us to work out that it is a middle-aged remnant relatively close to Earth, calculations that would have been far less accurate with the X-ray data alone.”

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Hubble Snaps Breathtaking New Image of NGC 2336

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Astronomy enthusiasts can gaze at a gorgeous new image of barred galaxy NGC 2336, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

In the Hubble image NGC 2336 is clearly visible in the image. It is a spiral and barred galaxy that is 109 million light years from the earth and within Camelopardalis constellation.

To create the image, the telescope took multiple exposures within the regions of the spectrum that are visible to the naked eye as well as the infrared regions using the Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys, or ACS.

The telescope used three filters to sample the wavelengths and assigned each hue with a monochromatic image linked to a specific filter. This produced the colored image.

The NGC 2336 is also known as the LEDA 21033 and UGC 3809. It is one half of a non-interacting pair of galaxies together with IC 467.

William Tempel, a German astronomer was first to spot the NGC 2336. Tempel was working with a 28 cm telescope when he spotted the galaxy in 1876.

The Hubble enjoys a much better view than Tempel’s rudimentary telescope once had. It is ten times larger than Tempel’s telescope.

NGC 2336 is 200,000 light years across and its arms are adorned with young stars glittering in blue light.

It has a smaller bar and eight spiral arms at the minimum. The central part of the galaxy is more red and occupied by older stars.

NGC 2336 went through a historic supernova in 1987. It was the only supernova to be observed within the galaxy ever since it was discovered by the German astronomer. It was a significant moment for astronomers who had been watching it for 111 years.

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