Star Formation

Star-Forming Frenzy Observations of the Ancient Starburst Galaxy


The recently received images of the gas churning inside an ancient starburst galaxy explain the reason behind this galactic firecracker that underwent frenzied star formation.

With the help of Atacama Large Millimeter or Submillimeter Array (ALMA), the researchers have been able to take the most detailed view of the star-forming gas disk which has infused the galaxy COSMOS-Az TEC-1, which signifies the era when the universe was just less than 2 billion years old.

A massive reservoir of molecular gases was discovered via telescopic observations, which was highly vulnerable to collapsing and building new stars. COSMOS-Aztec-1 along with its starburst generations, astonishing the astronomers, have emitted new stars about 1,000 times just like the speed of Milky Way.

The outward pressure of stars, inside the normal galaxy, the outward pressure of radiation emitted from the stars helps in counteracting the gas gravity’s inward pull. However, the gas’ gravity in the COSMOS-AzTEC-1 is so intense that it trounced the weak radiation pressure gained from stars further leading to runaway star formation. The latest ALMA pictures, however, unveil two large clouds of crushing gas in the disk that was major pivots of star formation.

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One of the authors of this study, Min Yun, who is an astronomer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said: “It’s like a giant fuel depot that built up right after the Big Bang…and we’re catching it right in the process of the whole thing lighting up.”