• Home
  • Science
  • Science News
  • NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Finds 6 Early, 'Dead' Galaxies That Ran Out of Cold Hydrogen

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

NASA said it doesn't look like these kinds of dead galaxies rejuvenate even after minor mergers and accretions of nearby, small galaxies and gas.

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

Photo Credit: NASA/ Image Processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)

The study of early, distant, and dead galaxies, has been published in the journal Nature

Highlights
  • These galaxies had run out of cold hydrogen
  • The study was part of REQUIEM
  • NASA said the six galaxies in question lived "fast and furious" lives

Astronomers at NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered at least six early galaxies, massive in size, which were “dead” when the universe was about 3 billion years old. These galaxies had run out of cold hydrogen, something necessary for the formation of stars. With no fuel to form stars, the galaxies were running “empty”, NASA said.   

Lead author Kate Whitaker said that at this point in the universe — 3 billion years after the Big Bang — all galaxies should be forming lots of stars, adding that it's the "peak epoch" of star formation. So what happened to all the cold gas in these galaxies so early on, asks Whitaker, also an assistant professor of astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

This study of early, distant, and dead galaxies, has been published in the journal Nature and was part of the REQUIEM -- Resolving QUIEscent Magnified Galaxies At High Redshift -- programme. The REQUIEM team uses huge foreground galaxy clusters as natural telescopes.

It doesn't look like these kinds of dead galaxies rejuvenate even after later minor mergers and accretions of nearby small galaxies and gas, NASA said. Eleven billion years later, when analysed in the present-day universe, these compact galaxies are thought to have evolved to be larger but are still "dead", for they form no stars now. 

While the US space agency said that the six galaxies in question lived "fast and furious" lives and formed stars in a short time, why they ran out of cold oxygen and then stopped creating stars remains a mystery.  

Did a supermassive black hole in the galaxy's centre turn on and heat all the gas? Whitaker said that if that is the case the gas could still be there, but it's hot.

The next possible explanation, according to Whitaker, is that the gas could have been expelled, and now it's being stopped from accreting back onto the galaxy. Or the galaxy just use it all up and the supply is cut off, she says, adding that these are among the questions the team will continue to explore following new observations.


This week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, we discuss the Surface Pro 8, Go 3, Duo 2, and Laptop Studio — as Microsoft sets a vision for Windows 11 hardware. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Cryptocurrencies Register Sixth Straight Week of Inflows, Led by Bitcoin: Data
Ford, SK to Invest $11.4 Billion to Add Electric F-150 Plant, Three Battery Factories

Related Stories

Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment
 
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2021. All rights reserved.
Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com