Giant galaxies like snowflakes in space


23/02/2011

Giant galaxies that contain billions of stars are formed almost in the same way as the thin delicate snowflakes, these are the results of a new study from Swinburne University of Technology.

In a research paper accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Professor Duncan Forbes (Duncan Forbes) developed the first direct evidence to support the theory of galaxy formation, which he likened to the birth of a snowflake.

Professor Forbes, with the assistance of international staff analyzed data from three different telescopes in order to help confirm this galaxy formation theory proposed last year by German astronomer Ludwig Auxerre (Ludwig Oser) and his colleagues.

"We found that the formation of the galaxy consists of two phases. Firstly, the interior of the stars formed due to curtailment of gas. This region then acts as a core, or ’seed’, around which the galaxy begins to grow as a result of star clusters, which are acquired from other smaller Galaxies "- said the researcher.

According to Professor Jean Brodie (Jean Brodie) from the University of California, "This work provides one of the best evidence of the internal and external formation of giant galaxies.’’ Intriguing moment for astronomers was the similarity between this process of formation of giant galaxies and the principle of formation of snowflakes.

"Education requires snowflakes ’seed’ for the further development of the form. Snowflakes In the case of this ’seed’ is a microscopic dust grain. Having the core of which is comparable to the further formation of giant galaxies" - Forbes said.

"Then, in much the same way as water evaporation accumulate to form a snowflake, small galaxies and their stars are fused at the core of the galaxy."

Astronomers have based their conclusions on observations of the huge elliptical galaxy NGC1407, one of the largest galaxies in the southern skies, which includes more than 10 billion stars.

They conducted their observations using two giant telescopes in Hawaii - Subaru (8.2 meters) and Keck (10 meters), the largest optical telescope in the world. They are also involved in the research data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope.

"Our data came from three world-famous high-power telescope, and in each case they were supporting ’snowflake theory’ in the formation of the galaxy" - said Forbes. "This shows that we can be very confident in the accuracy of our information."


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