Researchers have found ancient ultramassive the galaxy, which suddenly ceased to be born stars. A decent explanation to this phenomenon scientists yet, although there is an interesting version.
the Discovery is described in a scientific paper published in the Astrophysical Journal.
Galaxy, designated as XMM-2599 is very far from Earth. Astronomers saw it for what it was 12 billion years ago when the Universe was only 1.8 billion years old.
the total mass of stars in this system is estimated at 300 billion suns. Education as wealthy luminaries of the galaxy in such ancient times is in itself earth-shattering event. Although contemporary models allow this, such objects must be extremely rare.
But even more unusual is her story. Analyzing the spectrum of the galaxy obtained with the optical Keck I telescope, the researchers found an amazing picture.
All the stars XMM-2599 formed in one turbulent era when the rate of star formation has exceeded a thousand solar masses per year (for comparison, in the milky Way today it is about one solar mass per year). At that moment, she almost certainly looked like some very distant and dust-rich galaxy with intense star formation, recently discovered in the infrared telescopes.
after Spending hundreds of millions of years in this mode, XMM-2599… ceased to produce new lights at all.
“In that era, very few galaxies have stopped forming stars, and none of them is as massive as XMM-2599,” says co-author Gillian Wilson (Gillian Wilson) University of California-riverside.
the Possible evolutionary path of galaxies XMM-2599.Illustration of NRAO/AUI/NSF/B. Saxton; NASA/ESA/R. Foley; NASA/StScI.
In the illustration from left to right shows a possible evolutionary path XMM-2599. From massive and dust rich galaxies with intense star formation to the stellar system consisting of old red stars and then to the center of the brightest cluster of galaxies.
This sudden cessation of star formation — in a sense, the death of the galaxy has no explanation. Scientists can only guess what happened. It is not excluded that the cause of the accident was the activity of the Central black hole.
Because the researchers did not know why stopped the formation of new stars, it’s hard to say, and what this star system is similar today (we can’t see, as recently emitted its light to us has not yet reached and will reach very soon).
a Separate issue that happens around the XMM-2599. It is likely that due to the huge weight she was drawn to the surrounding galaxy.
“Perhaps over the next 11.7 billion years of cosmic history XMM-2599 became a Central member of one of the brightest and most massive galaxy clusters in the local Universe,” suggests co-author Michael Cooper (Michael Cooper) from the University of California, Irvine.
By the way, earlier “Conduct.Science” wrote about the ancient galaxy surprised astronomers by the presence of oxygen, and the discovery near the milky Way “preserved” of the galaxy.