NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope Finds 6 Early, ‘Dead’ Galaxies That Ran Out of Cold Hydrogen

Astronomers at NASA’s Hubble House Telescope and the Atacama Massive Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) have found not less than six early galaxies, large in dimension, which had been “lifeless” when the universe was about 3 billion years outdated. These galaxies had run out of chilly hydrogen, one thing crucial for the formation of stars. With no gas to kind stars, the galaxies had been operating “empty”, NASA stated.   

Lead writer Kate Whitaker stated that at this level within the universe — 3 billion years after the Massive Bang — all galaxies ought to be forming a lot of stars, including that it is the “peak epoch” of star formation. So what occurred to all of the chilly gasoline in these galaxies so early on, asks Whitaker, additionally an assistant professor of astronomy on the College of Massachusetts, Amherst.

This examine of early, distant, and lifeless galaxies, has been printed within the journal Nature and was a part of the REQUIEM — Resolving QUIEscent Magnified Galaxies At Excessive Redshift — programme. The REQUIEM group makes use of enormous foreground galaxy clusters as pure telescopes.

It would not appear like these sorts of lifeless galaxies rejuvenate even after later minor mergers and accretions of close by small galaxies and gasoline, NASA stated. Eleven billion years later, when analysed within the present-day universe, these compact galaxies are thought to have advanced to be bigger however are nonetheless “lifeless”, for they kind no stars now. 

Whereas the US house company stated that the six galaxies in query lived “quick and livid” lives and fashioned stars in a short while, why they ran out of chilly oxygen after which stopped creating stars stays a thriller.  

Did a supermassive black gap within the galaxy’s centre activate and warmth all of the gasoline? Whitaker stated that if that’s the case the gasoline might nonetheless be there, but it surely’s scorching.

The following attainable rationalization, in response to Whitaker, is that the gasoline might have been expelled, and now it is being stopped from accreting again onto the galaxy. Or the galaxy simply use all of it up and the availability is reduce off, she says, including that these are among the many questions the group will proceed to discover following new observations.

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