Thanks to new observations from Dutch astronomer Mariska Kriek with the Gemini Telescope on Hawaii and the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, it is now known that a part of the heavy galaxies already stopped forming stars when the universe was still a toddler, about 3 billion years old. Astronomers suspect that black holes exert an influence on this halt in births.
Heavy galaxies are a boring phenomenon in the modern universe. They have an elliptical or a round form, the stars are evenly distributed over the galaxies and no more new stars are formed. The large quantities of stars, about 10 billion, and the current, low birth rate point to the fact that star formation must have been much higher in the past. When were these stars formed and why did the star formation subsequently stop?
Black holes as a birth control measure
The finite speed of light makes it possible to study the universe when it was much younger than now. With the help of spectrographs, such as the Gemini Near-InfraRed Spectrograph and SINFONI on the VLT, Mariska Kriek and her colleagues studied 36 heavy galaxies in the early universe. These galaxies are so far away that the light from them has taken 11 billion years to reach us. Interestingly the researchers found no signs of star formation for a large proportion of the galaxies observed. This new discovery contributes to the growing mass of evidence that the formation of new stars in heavy galaxies is strongly inhibited after an explosive baby boom.
This 'halt in births' is possibly due to the influence of the enormous black holes in the middle of the galaxies. The large amount of material attracted by these black holes generates enormous quantities of energy that subsequently heats up the gas in the galaxy. As a result of this heating the gas is no longer able to form new stars. The researchers did indeed discover a black hole in a number of the galaxies they investigated. These were mainly the galaxies where the star formation was inhibited less than 1 billion years ago. These results support the idea that black holes limit the birth of new stars.
Mariska Kriek | alfa
OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA
27.10.2016 | University of Oklahoma
First results of NSTX-U research operations
26.10.2016 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences