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Giant Ultraviolet Rings Found in Resurrected Galaxies

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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:01 PM
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Giant Ultraviolet Rings Found in Resurrected Galaxies



Giant Ultraviolet Rings Found in Resurrected Galaxies
ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2010) Astronomers have found mysterious, giant loops of ultraviolet light in aged, massive galaxies, which seem to have a second lease on life. Somehow these "over-the-hill galaxies" have been infused with fresh gas to form new stars that power these truly gargantuan rings, some of which could encircle several Milky Way galaxies.

he discovery of these rings implies that bloated galaxies presumed "dead" and devoid of star-making can be reignited with star birth, and that galaxy evolution does not proceed straight from the cradle to the grave.

"In a galaxy's lifetime, it must make the transition from an active, star-forming galaxy to a quiescent galaxy that does not form stars," said Samir Salim, lead author of a recent study and a research scientist in the department of astronomy at Indiana University, Bloomington. "But it is possible this process goes the other way, too, and that old galaxies can be rejuvenated."

A One-Two Observational Punch

The findings come courtesy of the combined power of two orbiting observatories, NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer and Hubble Space Telescope. First, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer surveyed a vast region of the sky in ultraviolet light. The satellite picked out 30 elliptical and lens-shaped "early" galaxies with puzzlingly strong ultraviolet emissions but no signs of visible star formation. Early-type galaxies, so the scientists' thinking goes, have already made their stars and now lack the cold gas necessary to build new ones.

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/1008111701...
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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 08:56 AM
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