The researchers, led by Durham University's Department of Physics, observed the massive galaxy as it would have appeared just three billion years after the Big Bang when the Universe was a quarter of its present age.
According to their findings the galaxy exploded in a series of blasts trillions of times more powerful than any caused by an atomic bomb. The blasts happened every second for millions of years, the scientists said.
The explosions scattered the gas needed to form new stars by helping it escape the gravitational pull of the galaxy called SMM J1237+6203, effectively regulating its growth, the scientists added.
They believe the huge surge of energy was caused by either the outflow of debris from the galaxy's black hole or from powerful winds generated by dying stars called supernovae.The research, funded by the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society, is published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Observations were carried out using the Gemini Observatory's Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrometer (NIFS).
Properties seen in massive galaxies near to our own Milky Way suggest that a major event rapidly turned off star formation in early galaxies and halted their expansion.
Theorists, including scientists at Durham University, have argued that this could be due to outflows of energy blowing galaxies apart and preventing further new stars from forming, but evidence of this has been lacking until now.
Lead author Dr Dave Alexander, of Durham University's Department of Physics, said: "We are looking into the past and seeing a catastrophic event that essentially switched off star formation and halted the growth of a typical massive galaxy in the local Universe.
"Effectively the galaxy is regulating its growth by preventing new stars from being born. Theorists had predicted that huge outflows of energy were behind this activity, but it's only now that we have seen it in action.
"We believe that similar huge outflows are likely to have stopped the growth of other galaxies in the early Universe by blowing away the materials needed for star formation."
The Durham-led team now plans to study other massive star-forming galaxies in the early Universe to see if they display similar characteristics.
Durham University is part of a team building the K-Band Multi-Object Spectrometer (KMOS) for the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope. KMOS will be used to further investigate the physical and environmental processes that shape the formation and evolution of galaxies.
Leighton Kitson | EurekAlert!
Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions
27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Life Sciences
27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences