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Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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Astronomers Discover Galaxies Die From the Center when it Stops Creating Stars

Galaxy clusters

(Photo : NASA and ESA) Images of six different galaxy clusters taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (blue) and Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) in a study of how dark matter in clusters of galaxies behaves when the clusters collide.

Astronomers recently published research showing the death of galaxies starts from the middle when star formation is halted. Eventually, the outer regions also run out of gas, stop producing stars, and the galaxy dies.

Galaxies are essentially star factories. For some galaxies like elliptical ones, however, they've stopped creating stars since all their gas already being used up to form stars.

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New research suggests when a galaxy stops forming stars at its heart, it begins its procession toward its death.

The research helps astronomers understand the mechanics that promote and hinder star formation, as well as provide an understanding of why we see certain galaxies the way they are now.

PhD candidate Sandro Tacchella and his colleagues used the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) to search for active star formation by looking for hydrogen gas.

They found most massive galaxies have stars building-up quickly in the center, while star formation in the outskirts slows down.

Comparing galaxies of similar mass that are much closer, they concluded galaxies that no longer form stars stop growing and are considered dead.

The key to understanding the deaths of galaxies is to understand where its gas resides. Gases are the key components for star formation, much like logs needed to make a fire.

There are many potential factors that could strip away gases from galaxies. Some are internal to the galaxy, while others are from things occurring in the local environment of the galaxy.

Researchers say that occurrences in the local environment only strip away gas from the outskirts of the galaxy. however.

Thus, it was discovered a supermassive black holes in the center of a galaxy is what really draws gases away.

A study in Nature showed the first detection of a supermassive black hole blasting out winds that could strip gases away from galaxies; gases that could have been used to create stars and keep the galaxy alive.

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