Cornell University-led team operating the Infrared Spectrograph (IRS), the largest of the three main instruments on NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope, has discovered a mysterious population of distant and enormously powerful galaxies radiating in the infrared spectrum with many hundreds of times more power than our Milky Way galaxy. Their distance from Earth is about 11 billion light years, or 80 percent of the way back to the Big Bang.
Virtually everything about this new class of objects is educated speculation, the researchers say, since the galaxies are invisible to ground-based optical telescopes with the deepest reach into the universe. "We think we have an idea of what they are, but we are not necessarily correct," says Cornell senior research associate in astronomy Dan Weedman.
Among the more probable ideas are that these mysterious bodies are ultraluminous infrared galaxies, powered either by an active galactic nuclei (AGN) or by a starburst, a massive burst of star formation. AGNs are powered by the in-fall of matter to a massive black hole, while massive starbursts often are triggered by the collision of two or more galaxies. What makes the objects studied by the Spitzer team stand out is that previously known AGNs are "not nearly as powerful, far away, or as dust-enshrouded" as these bodies are, says Weedman.
Electrocatalysis can advance green transition
23.01.2017 | Technical University of Denmark
Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin
23.01.2017 | Ferdinand-Braun-Institut Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
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