Astronomers spot 3bn-yr-old ‘teenager-like, out of control’ galaxiesOctober 13th, 2010 - 5:22 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Oct 13 (ANI): Niels Bohr Institute scientists have been studying distant galaxies, which are among the most active star-forming galaxies in the Universe, forming 1,000 new stars a year - a 1,000 times more than our own galaxy, the Milky Way.
“The galaxies are located in the far distant Universe - when the universe was 3 billion years old (equivalent to only 20 percent of its current age). It is a period of the Universe when the galaxies were very active, almost teenager-like and out of control”, described Thomas R. Greve.
“We have measured the CO levels, that is to say carbon monoxide, which is one of the most common molecules in the universe, after the hydrogen molecule, H2. Using the measurements we have calculated how much gas there is in the galaxy and it turns out there are extremely large amounts of gas in these galaxies “, he added.
In the galaxies the gas collects in large clouds, which become denser and denser as a result of their own gravitational pull eventually collapsing into a ball of glowing gas, which forms a new star - the cloud almost ‘explodes’ in a cosmic firework display of new stars.
“What is new about our observations is that we have looked at the amount of cold, diffuse gas that is not yet actively star-forming, and what we can determine is that there is more than twice as much gas than previously thought. This means that there is an enormous amount of raw material, which can condense and form new stars “, said Greve.
The findings have been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. (ANI)
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