Galaxies

Blogs about galaxies, singles ones on in clusters

The galaxy NGC 253 with its molecules (Image ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA, ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Ando et al. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit)

An article published in “The Astrophysical Journal” describes the discovery of 8 molecular clouds within the galaxy NGC 253 in which 19 different complex molecules have been identified. A team of researchers led by Ryo Ando of the University of Tokyo used the ALMA radio telescope to detect the “signatures” of those molecules including thioformaldehyde, methanol, acetic acid, hydrogen cyanide, propyne and other organic molecules, the first detection of that kind outside the Milky Way.

The galaxy NGC 4490 (Image ESA/Hubble, NASA)

An image of the galaxy NGC 4490 captured by the Hubble Space Telescope shows in detail its distorted shape. That’s the result of a clash with the smaller galaxy NGC 4485, which millions of years ago went through its bigger neighbor. Probably this is just the beginning of the merger between the two galaxies but for now this clash has created among other things the conditions for the formation of new stars within NGC 4490.

The galaxy NGC 1068 with its active galactic nucleus (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes a research about the relationship between Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) and the galaxies that host them. Cristina Ramos Almeida of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and Claudio Ricci of the Institute of Astronomy of the Universidad Católica de Chile used data collected by various space and ground-based telescopes to understand the effect of that activity, called in jargon AGN feedback, which can manifest in different ways, favoring or inhibiting star formation in their galaxies.

Cosmic Eyelash seen by ALMA (Image ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/E. Falgarone et al.)

An article published in the journal “Nature” describes the first detection in the distant universe of the carbon hydride molecule, or CH+. A team led by Edith Falgarone of the Ecole Normale Supérieure and Observatoire de Paris, France, used the ALMA radio telescope to discover that cold and turbulent gas in galaxies of the starburst type such as SMM J2135-0102, nicknamed Cosmic Eyelash. This discovery will help to better understand the mechanisms of galaxy growth and the periods of rapid star formation.

Scheme of the detection of a galaxy's magnetic field through a gravitational lens (Image Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF; NASA, Hubble Heritage Team, (STScI/AURA), ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI). Additional Processing: Robert Gendler)

An article published in the journal “Nature Astronomy” describes the measurement of the magnetic field of a galaxy that is nearly 5 billion light-years away from Earth, the farthest of which such a detection has been made. A team of researchers used the Very Large Array (VLA) to detect it not directly but thanks to a kind of magnetic footprint called Faraday effect that reached the Earth thanks to the light coming from a quasar that appears to us behind the galaxy studied.