galaxy

10/07/2013 - 10:05

Astronomers have detected cold streams of primordial hydrogen, vestigial matter left over from the Big Bang, fuelling a distant star-forming galaxy in the early Universe. Profuse flows of gas onto galaxies are believed to be crucial for explaining an era 10 billion years ago, when galaxies were copiously forming stars. To make this discovery, the astronomers – a team led by Neil Crighton (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and Swinburne University) – made use of a cosmic coincidence: a bright, distant quasar acting as a "cosmic lighthouse" illuminates the gas flow from behind.

 

09/06/2013 - 08:31

Bonn astronomers discover how the image of a distant quasar splits into multiple images by the effects of a cloud of ionized gas in our own Milky Way Galaxy. Such events were predicted as early as in the 1970s, but the first evidence for one now has come from observations performed with the telescope array VLBA and analysed in the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy.

 

07/17/2013 - 07:18

Recent observations from April this year of the galactic centre have revealed that parts of the in-falling gas cloud, which was detected in 2011, have already swung past the black hole at the heart of our Milky Way. Due to the tidal force of the gravity monster, the gas cloud has become further stretched, with its front moving now already 500 km/s faster than its tail. The findings confirm earlier predictions: the cloud will come so close to the black hole in the course of the next year that it will be completely torn apart.

 

05/15/2013 - 13:08

This multi-wavelength view shows 4C+29.30, a galaxy located some 850 million light years from Earth. The radio emission comes from two jets of particles that are speeding at millions of miles per hour away from a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The estimated mass of the black hole is about 100 million times the mass of our Sun. The ends of the jets show larger areas of radio emission located outside the galaxy.

 

04/18/2013 - 09:42

Using the telescope network ALMA, astronomers have been able to determine the positions of more than 100 of the most prolific galaxies with unprecedented accuracy. The exact positions could help to solve the mystery of the supposedly extremely high star formation rates: Accordingly the amount of radiation released is not from one but from several galaxies - each of which have more moderate star formation rate and in accordance with theoretical models.

 

03/22/2013 - 08:30

A group of astronomers led by Amelia Stutz of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg have discovered the youngest known protostar yet: stellar embryos deeply embedded in unexpectedly dense dust cocoons. The discovery promises new insights into the earliest stages of star formation, and consequently into the way our home star, the Sun, came into being. The scientists used both the Herschel Space Telescope and the submillimetre telescope APEX for their observations.