Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research Team Discover New Tidal Debris from Colliding Galaxies

10.06.2009
Astronomers are announcing today that they have discovered new tidal debris stripped away from colliding galaxies.

The research will be being presented during a press conference at the 214th annual American Astronomical Society meeting in Pasadena, California by Drs. Jin Koda at Stony Brook University, Long Island, New York; Nick Scoville of California Institute of Technology; Yoshiaki Taniguchi of Ehime University, Ehime, Japan; and, the COSMOS survey team.

New debris images are of special interest since they show the full history of galaxy collisions and resultant starburst activities, which are important in 'growing' galaxies in the early Universe. In this study, new tidal debris were found with 8.2-meter Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. The international team took extremely deep exposures of archetypal colliding galaxies, including "the Antennae" galaxies in constellation Corvus (65 million light years away from us), "Arp 220" in constellation Serpens (250 million light years) and "Mrk 231" in constellation Big Dipper (590 million light years), and 10 additional objects. Often seen in public media and textbooks, these galaxies are well-known galaxy collisions.

"We did not expect such enormous debris fields around these famous objects," says Dr. Koda, Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Stony Brook University. "For instance, the Antennae – the name came from its resemblance of insect ‘antennae’ – was discovered early in 18th century by William Herschel, and has been observed repeatedly since then."

Colliding galaxies eventually merge, and become a single galaxy. When the orbit and rotation synchronize, galaxies merge quickly. New tidal tails therefore indicate the quick merging, which could be the trigger of starburst activities in Ultra Luminous Infrared Galaxy (ULIRG). Further studies and detailed comparison with theoretical model may reveal the process of galaxy formation and starbursts activities in the early Universe.

"Arp 220 is the most famous ULIRG," says Dr. Taniguchi, who is Professor of Ehime University in Japan. "ULIRGs are very likely the dominant mode of cosmic star formation in the early Universe, and Arp 220 is the key object to understand starburst activities in ULIRGs."

"The new images allow us to fully chart the orbital paths of the colliding galaxies before they merge, thus turning back the clock on each merging system," says Dr. Scoville, the Francis L. Moseley professor of astronomy at Caltech. "This is equivalent to finally being able to trace the skid marks on the road when investigating a car wreck."

According to Dr. Koda, the extent of the debris had not been seen in earlier imaging of these famous objects.

"Subaru’s sensitive wide-field camera was necessary to detect and properly analyze this faint, huge, debris," he said. "In fact, most debris are extended a few times bigger than our own Galaxy. We were ambitious to look for unknown debris, but even we were surprised to see the extent of debris in many already famous objects."

Galactic collisions are one of the most critical processes in galaxy formation and evolution in the early Universe. However, not all galactic collisions end up such large tidal debris.

‘The orbit and rotation of colliding galaxies are the keys," says Dr. Koda. "Theory predicts that large debris are produced only when the orbit and galactic rotation synchronize each other. New tidal debris are of significant importance since they put significant constrains on the orbit and history of the galactic collisions."

For more information:
• Dr. Jin Koda
• Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University, New York
• Office: +1-631-632-8063
• Cell: +1-631-624-4661
• Email: jin.koda@stonybrook.edu
• Dr. Nick Scoville
• Professor at California Institute of Technology, California
• Office: +1-626-395-4979
• Email: nzs@astro.caltech.edu
• Dr. Yoshiaki Taniguchi
• Professor at Research Center for Space and Cosmic Evolution, Ehime University, Japan
• Office: +81-89-927-9578
• E-mail:tani@cosmos.ehime-u.ac.jp

Media Relations | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.stonybrook.edu
http://www.caltech.edu
http://www.cosmos.ehime-u.ac.jp

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold
26.06.2017 | Toyohashi University of Technology

nachricht A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
23.06.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>