Why does star formation stop in galaxies?

(ORDO NEWS) — Galaxy clusters can include hundreds to thousands of galaxies that contain trillions of stars , vast amounts of hot gas, and dark matter.

Astronomers have long known that when another galaxy becomes part of a galaxy cluster, star formation may stop in it.

Simply put, the galaxy is dying. What causes such a strange phenomenon? Science has several possible answers to this cosmic riddle.

First explanation

The cold gas in the galaxy that enters the cluster is “blown out” by the hot gas of the giant structure. Thus, future stars are deprived of the only source of “fuel”. Scientists call this process “peeling”.

Second explanation

Cold gas ceases to flow into a galaxy that has fallen into a cluster, and at some point in time, star formation slows down, and then stops completely. Scientists call this process “suffocation”.

Third explanation

It is likely that the energy of star formation provokes the expulsion of cold gas from the galaxy, and this process occurs very quickly. After that, the galaxy quickly dies. This process scientists called “expiration”.

Why does star formation stop in galaxies 2
Galaxy cluster Abell 2537

A team of astrophysicists led by Ryan Foltz conducted their own study to check which of the options is still correct.

Thus, they were able to conduct the most extensive study of the time scale of the cessation of star formation.

Scientists, using the SpARCS sky survey, were able to study the “quenching” time interval in 70% of the galaxies that became part of the cluster.

It was found that, on average, the death of galaxies stops after a different period of time with a significantly longer interval.

Consequently, there is no pattern in this, which means that the second and third explanations can be excluded.

It turns out that the first scientific explanation of the phenomenon turned out to be as accurate and logical as possible. Star formation in galaxies occurs due to the loss of cold gas, which leads to gradual death.


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