More than two thirds of spiral galaxies, including our own Milky Way, display a central bar that can extend for thousands of light years. These colossal elongated structures are made up of collections of stars and dark matter which are held together by gravity.
Now a team of researchers from Europe and the USA have measured the bar length of some 5000 galaxies with the help of amateur astronomers. The most precise results (those obtained for 3150 galaxies) have been published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal.
The study comes under the Galaxy Zoo project, a citizen science initiative in which more than 200,000 volunteers assisted in classifying a million galaxies through images provided by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey astronomical catalogue. As for the bars, 150 amateur astronomers have recorded their observations on a webpage specifically created for this purpose. The page is currently still active despite being closed to any further data entry.
Ben Hoyle, researcher at the Institute of Cosmos Sciences (University of Barcelona, Spain) and coordinator of the study, stresses to SINC that "this webpage combines Galaxy Zoo classifications with Google Maps technology." More precisely, the team has used the Google Maps Sky interface which allows to see the sky, especially the galaxies, as seen from the Earth's surface.
"In this way we have compiled some 16,000 measurements of the bars of 5000 galaxies, which is a sample a hundred times greater than previous ones. We have also come to many different conclusions, such as the fact that redder galaxies, which are stopping star formation, have longer bars," says Hoyle.
In the electromagnetic spectrum, the colour red comes from older, cooler stars whereas the colour blue is linked to hotter and younger stars. The study also reveals that the bars tend to be redder than the rest of the galaxy, which indicates that they have an older stellar population.
Other conclusions indicate that those galaxies with a larger bulb (a central agglomeration of stars) have longer bars. In addition, barred galaxies are more likely to display spiral arms than unbarred galaxies.
References: Ben Hoyle, Karen. L. Masters, Robert C. Nichol, Edward M. Edmondson, Arfon M. Smith, Chris Lintott, Ryan Scranton, Steven Bamford, Kevin Schawinski, Daniel Thomas. "Galaxy Zoo: Bar Lengths in Nearby Disk Galaxies". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 415 (4): 3627-3640, 2011. Doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18979.x.
SINC | EurekAlert!
The taming of the light screw
22.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie
21.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
25.03.2019 | Trade Fair News
25.03.2019 | Life Sciences
25.03.2019 | Information Technology