Massive filaments fuel the growth of galaxies and supermassive black holes

An international group of scientists led by the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research have used observations from the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and the Suprime-Cam at the Subaru telescope to make detailed observations of the filaments of gas connecting galaxies in a large, distant proto-cluster … Read more

The stellar nurseries of distant galaxies

Star clusters are formed by the condensation of molecular clouds, masses of cold, dense gas that are found in every galaxy. The physical properties of these clouds in our own galaxy and nearby galaxies have been known for a long time. But are they identical in distant galaxies that are more than 8 billion light-years … Read more

An alternative reading of the size – age mistery in the Large Magellanic Cloud

For more than 30 years scientists have been wondering why all the young star clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy have compact cores, while the old ones show cores with both small and large sizes. Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have found the key to solve the puzzle: they demonstrated that the … Read more

Space dragons: Researchers observe energy consumption in quasars

Quasars are the Universe’s brightest beacons; shining with magnitudes more luminosity than entire galaxies and the stars they contain. In the center of this light, at the heart of a quasar, researchers think, is an all-consuming black hole. Researchers, for the first time, have observed the accelerated rate at which eight quasars consume interstellar fuel … Read more

A long time ago, galaxies far, far away

Astronomers used the combined power of multiple astronomical observatories around the world and in space to discover a treasure-trove of previously unknown ancient massive galaxies. This is the first multiple discovery of its kind and such an abundance of this type of galaxy defies current models of the universe. These galaxies are also intimately connected … Read more

Spiraling filaments feed young galaxies

Galaxies grow by accumulating gas from their surroundings and converting it to stars, but the details of this process have remained murky. New observations, made using the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI) at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, now provide the clearest, most direct evidence yet that filaments of cool gas spiral into … Read more

Galaxies are cosmic cauldrons heated by star formation

Star formation within interstellar gas clouds proceeds very rapidly, yet highly inefficiently. Most of the gas is quickly dispersed by stellar radiation, revealing galaxies to be highly dynamic systems, like “cosmic cauldrons”, consisting of building blocks that constantly change their appearance. A team of scientists led by astrophysicist Dr. Diederik Kruijssen from Heidelberg University has … Read more