Thursday, 19 January 2017 16:35

Something in space is killing off entire galaxies

By: 

When we think about the survival of the human race we often focus on making sure our planet stays alive and habitable, but out there in the depths of space there are entire galaxies being killed off in a manner that is utterly perplexing scientists. A new paper (PDF) from researchers working at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research addresses the odd and extremely troubling trend and attempts to propose an answer for what exactly is leading literally thousands of galaxies to die premature deaths.

After studying a whopping 11,000 galaxies in the general vicinity of our own, scientists now believe that a process called ram-pressure stripping is leading the ailing galaxies to be purged of their gas, preventing new stars from forming and leading them to sputter out far faster than would be expected. Without adequate gas to power new star formation, the galaxies simply get cold and die.

“During their lifetimes, galaxies can inhabit halos of different sizes, ranging from masses typical of our own Milky Way to halos thousands of times more massive,” Toby Brown, the PhD candidate who headed the study, explains on the organization’s website. “As galaxies fall through these larger halos, the superheated intergalactic plasma between them removes their gas in a fast-acting process called ram-pressure stripping.”

“You can think of it like a giant cosmic broom that comes through and physically sweeps the gas from the galaxies,” Brown says. “If you remove the fuel for star formation then you effectively kill the galaxy and turn it into a dead object.”

It’s a disturbing notion, but there’s good(ish) news; the process can take tens of millions of years to actually occur, so even if you were living in a galaxy where ram-pressure stripping was occurring, you’d be long dead before it could actually affect you in any way. That’s reassuring… right?

Trending right now:

  1. The Galaxy S8 might lose the fight against the iPhone before it even launches
  2. There’s something weird happening on Venus
  3. Why Tesla’s ambitious Model 3 may actually ship on time

Author : Mike Wehner

Source : https://www.yahoo.com/tech/something-space-killing-off-entire-galaxies-031046720.html

Leave a comment

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.
Please wait

airs logo

Association of Internet Research Specialists is the world's leading community for the Internet Research Specialist and provide a Unified Platform that delivers, Education, Training and Certification for Online Research.

Newsletter Subscription

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.
Please wait

Follow Us on Social Media

Book Your Seat for Webinar GET FREE REGISTRATION FOR MEMBERS ONLY      Register Now