Regular star formation wave discovered in galactic rings

(ORDO NEWS) — For the first time, MSU researchers discovered a spatial pattern in the distribution of young stellar populations in the rings of galaxies, which will help to better understand the physical processes that form regular waves of star formation in the rings and arms of galaxies. The work was published in the international astronomical journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, the press service of Moscow State University reported on Tuesday.

“The result obtained refines our understanding of the physical processes that contribute to the formation of a regular wave of star formation in rings and arms. A promising direction is also the use of methods of mathematical physics, actively used in the study of time series, to find regularities for spatial distributions,” said a leading researcher at the State Astronomical Institute. Sternberg (GAISH) Moscow State University Alexander Gusev, whose words are quoted in the message.

The relative contribution of various physical processes to the spatial and temporal distribution of molecular clouds and star-forming regions in the disks of galaxies is currently poorly understood. This process can be understood by studying the spatial regularity of the distribution of the young stellar population – star clusters with an age of fewer than 100 million years in the spiral and ring structures of galaxies.

If in the spiral arms of galaxies a regular distribution of star-forming regions was found, although it is a rather rare phenomenon, in the rings of galaxies such regularity was not previously observed, although it was theoretically predicted. In the new work, the spatial pattern in the distribution of the young stellar population in the rings of galaxies was finally discovered.

“The ring of the studied galaxy NGC 6217 is located near the corotation region, where the angular velocity of stars (decreasing in inverse proportion with increasing distance from the center) is compared with the angular velocity of the spiral arms of the galaxy (independent of the radius). The presence of spatial regularity here indicates that the presence or absence of shock waves, apparently, does not affect the spatial distribution of star-forming regions in the rings (spiral arms) of galaxies, “Gusev explained.

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