Galactic Warming Is Turning Galaxies Into Cosmic Graveyards

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Galactic Warming Is Turning Galaxies Into Cosmic Graveyards

An international team of scientists has solved one of the biggest cosmic mysteries. For years, why some galaxies stop forming new stars and turn into cosmic graveyards has baffled astronomers. They contain all the necessary ingredients to form new stars. So, why do they become dark and lifeless? Scientists liken it to having deserts in clouded regions where you would expect rain and vegetation. The reason is galactic warming.

What causes galactic warming?

Astronomers led by Edmond Cheung of the University of Tokyo have discovered a new class of galaxies called “red geysers.” The supermassive black holes at the center of such galaxies drive interstellar winds so energetic and hot that new stars just can’t form. These winds heat up the ambient gas, preventing the galaxy from cooling and condensing into stars.

Kevin Bundy, the co-author of the study, says galaxies begin as star-forming machines with a combination of gas and gravity that are key ingredients for star formation. The gravitational pull of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy provides force to trigger the formation of new stars. But many a times galaxies that should be pumping out stars turn dormant.

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