Galaxies develop by building up gas from their surroundings and turning them to stars, but the info of this procedure has stayed foggy. New studies, made with the help of KCWI (Keck Cosmic Web Imager) in Hawaii at the W. M. Keck Observatory, now offer the most direct, clearest proof yet that threads of cool gas revolve into teen galaxies, providing the power for stars.
“We are seeing threads of gas for the first time directly revolving into a galaxy. It is like a pipeline going directly in,” claims Christopher Martin, lead author of the study and professor of physics at Caltech, to the media. The study is posted in the Nature Astronomy journal. “This gas pipeline sustains formation of star, clarifying how galaxies can create stars on very quick timescales.”
For decades, astronomers have disputed precisely how gas makes its path to the galaxies’ center. Does it dramatically heat up as it crashes with the hot gas in the surrounding? Or does it stream in down thin dense threads, staying comparatively cold? “Modern theory recommends that the answer is possibly a mixture of both, but proving the attendance of these cold gas streams had stayed a huge challenge till now,” claimed co-author Donal O’Sullivan.
On a related note, chemical hints in the stars’ atmospheres are being employed to reveal new data about a galaxy, dubbed as the Gaia Sausage. This galaxy was composed in a huge crash billions of years back with the Milky Way.
In association with colleagues at European institutions in Bologna, Aarhus, and Trieste, astrophysicists at the University of Birmingham have been examining proof of the chemical composition of stars in this region of our galaxy to make an attempt to pinpoint more precisely the age of the tinnier galaxy. This is something new in the field.