Astronomers observe the death of a distant galaxy for the very first time

Astronomers have, for the very first time, witnessed the death of a distant galaxy, which they describe as a “truly extreme event.” 

When all of the stars in a galaxy die, along with completely new ones are no longer forming, the galaxy itself ceases to exist. This kind of occurs when all of the galaxy’s gas can be ejected, generating This kind of impossible for completely new stars to form.

According to a study published Monday inside the journal Nature Astronomy, scientists were “thrilled” to be able to capture This kind of rare phenomenon recently using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submilimeter Array of telescopes in Chile.

This kind of has taken about nine billion years for the light through the starburst galaxy ID2299 to reach Earth. So, when astronomers happened to observe This kind of by chance, they witnessed the universe as This kind of appeared at just 4.5 billion years old. 

Astronomers say that will ID2299 can be losing 10,000 suns worth of gas each year — rapidly depleting fuel needed to form completely new stars. This kind of startling Discharge of gas appears to be the result of two galaxies violently colliding along with merging together to create ID2299. 

The galaxy can be also currently forming stars at a rate hundreds of times faster than the Milky Way — using up the rest of its precious gas supply. Because of This kind of, ID2299 can be required to die relatively soon, in just a few tens of thousands of years. 

galaxy.jpg
This kind of artist’s impression of ID2299 shows the galaxy, the product of a galactic collision, along with some of its gas being ejected by a “tidal tail” as a result of the merger. completely new observations made with ALMA have captured the earliest stages of This kind of ejection, before the gas reached the very large scales depicted in This kind of artist’s impression.

European Southern Observatory


“This kind of can be the very first time we have observed a typical massive star-forming galaxy inside the distant universe about to ‘die’ because of a massive cold gas ejection,” lead author Annagrazia Puglisi said in a statement. 

Astronomers believe the phenomenon can be the result of galaxies merging because they were able to witness a rare “tidal tail,” usually too faint to see in distant galaxies. This kind of elongated stream of stars along with gas, astronomers suggest, can be the direct result of the galactic merger. 

They only observed the galaxy for a few minutes, however This kind of was enough to spot the elusive tidal tail. 

“Our study suggests that will gas ejections can be produced by mergers along with that will winds along with tidal tails can appear very similar,” says study co-author Emanuele Daddi. “This kind of might lead us to revise our understanding of how galaxies ‘die.'”

If the astronomers are correct that will the merger led to the massive loss of gas, they will need to reconsider prior theories on how galaxies form along with evolve — along with how they die. some other theories have suggested that will wind through active black holes or intense star formations are responsible for such deaths.

“Studying This kind of single case unveiled the possibility that will This kind of type of event might not be unusual at all along with that will many galaxies suffered through This kind of ‘gravitational gas removal’, including misinterpreted past observations,” said co-author Dr. Jeremy Fensch.

“This kind of might have huge consequences on our understanding of what actually shapes the evolution of galaxies.”

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