Astronomers find monster galaxy that creates new stars 1000 times faster than Milky Way

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Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : Indeed a new chapter in the book of astronomy! Astronomers have collected data of a monster galaxy located 12.4 billion light-years away, using Chile's Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

Also, called as COSMOS-AzTEC-1, the monster galaxy has the capacity to form new stars 1000 times faster than our Milky Way Galaxy.

It was first discovered with the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii. Later with the help of the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT), astronomers in Mexico, found an enormous amount of carbon monoxide gas in the galaxy and revealed its hidden starburst. However, it remained difficult to determine the nature of the cosmic gas in the galaxy.

Now, with ALMA, scientists have spotted the far-end galaxy, said the researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. 

Observed with powerful resolution, astronomers found that the galaxy has molecular clouds that are highly unstable, and leads to runaway star formation. 

Generally, the inward gravity and outward pressure are balanced in the clouds. But in COSMOS-AzTEC-1, the pressure is far weaker than the gravity and hard to balance. Therefore this galaxy shows runaway star formation and has morphed into an unstoppable monster galaxy, the researchers explained, in the paper published in the journal Nature.

"We have found that there are two distinct large clouds several thousand light-years away from the center," Tadaki said, adding "in most distant starburst galaxies, stars are actively formed in the center. So it is surprising to find off-center clouds” 

For now, researchers are striving hard to find the reason behind the unstable gas condition in the newly discovered galaxy. But, the team believe that the gas in monster galaxy may be completely consumed in 100 million years. 

"At this moment, we have no evidence of merger in this galaxy. By observing other similar galaxies with ALMA, we want to unveil the relation between galaxy mergers and monster galaxies," Tadaki noted.