Astronomers are reporting that they quite possibly have solved a long space mystery, connected to the way galaxies evolve. They say their fresh insights have deepened their knowledge of the future of the Milky Way galaxy. They have been using the extremely huge ESO telescope, which is located in Chile, and they found that the molecular hydrogen gas in the fairly close galaxy IC5063 is moving at astonishing speeds: about 1 million kilometers per hour, at the galaxy’s mid-point. It is believed that a supermassive black hole at the middle of this galaxy is thought to be driving the outflow of gas. The research study has been printed up in the most recent issue of the journal Nature.
This relays to galaxy evolution because the gas being ejected is cold gas. That is what is needed to produce new stars. When galaxies send out gas in such a way, the star formation rate can become restricted and prevent the galaxy’s evolution. This has been known for quite some time, with gas outflows from the mid-point of galaxies providing a crucial ingredient in theoretical models of the evolution of galaxies. The mystery has surrounded how the gas is accelerated.
The research study gives the first supporting evidence that the molecular outflows are accelerated by electron jets which are moving almost at the speed of light. The jets are ejected by the mid supermassive black holes, stated Clive Tadhunter, who was the space research study lead.
Most of the outflow gas is in the form of molecular hydrogen, which is weak in the sense that it is destroyed at fairly low energies. Scientists have declared that they believe it to be amazing that such molecular gas is able to endure being driven out by highly energetic particles which are moving at nearly the speed of light.
Astronomers state that the findings aid researchers in further understanding of the eventual fate of Earth’s own galaxy, the Milky Way. It is expected to crash into nearby galaxy Andromeda in around 5 billion years or so. It is believed that when this smash-up of galaxies occurs, gas will drop to the middle of what is left over from the collision. In the meantime, the jets coming from the mid-point supermassive black hole will most likely also shoot out cold system gas, therefore putting a stop to the creation of brand new stars and any growth of the brand new galaxy out in space.
Scientists used the ESO telescope to find molecular hydrogen gas in the galaxy IC5063. When they did, they saw it was travelling at amazing speed, almost 1 million kilometers per hour, at the mid-point of that galaxy. The supermassive black hole at the middle of this galaxy is believed to be the cause of the outflow of gas. Because the action drives out gas that is cold from the galaxy, and cold gas is what is required to produce new stars, astronomers have declared they have gained valuable insight into the way that galaxies evolve. They have taken such information in hopes of being able to reveal something of the Milky Way’s future. If so, then astronomers truly have solved a long space mystery.
By Kimberly Ruble