As a result, a breakthrough study published in the Astrophysical Journal outlines their new method for elucidating star formation in a post-stellar galaxy using its cluster population. The approach uses age and mass estimates of the constellations to determine the intensity and velocity of the stellar eruption that prevented more stars from forming in the galaxy.
So far, it has created parallel but separate occupations while juggling home life and carpool rides, Dr Rupali Chandar, Professor of Astronomy and Dr JD SmithThe director of the UToledo Ritter Astrophysical Research Center and a professor of astronomy combined their areas of expertise.
I work with UToledo Alumni Dr Adam Smercina who graduated in physics in 2015 and are currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington. They used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to focus on a post-stellar galaxy nearly 500 million light-years away, called the S12, which looks like a jellyfish. on the other side of which is a series of stars flowing out of the galaxy.
Smercina, the “glue” that brought Smith and Chandar together in this study, has been working with Smith as an undergraduate student since 2012 on dust and gas from post-stellar galaxies.
Although spiral galaxies like our Milky Way have continued to form stars fairly steadily, post-stellar galaxies experienced intense star formation sometime in the last half-billion years, halting the formation of those stars.
With this method, astronomers found that S12 experienced two periods of stellar eruption before it ceased to form stars, not one.
“Post-stellar eruptions represent a stage in the evolution of galaxies that is quite rare today,” Smith said. “We believe that nearly half of the galaxies went through this stage at some point in their lives. So far, their star-forming history has been determined almost exclusively by detailed modeling of the light from their composite stars.”
Smith has been studying post-stellar galaxies for more than a decade, and Chandar works in star clusters of galaxies that are typically about three to four times closer than those in Smith’s data.
“Clusters are like fossils – they can be outdated and give us clues about the past history of galaxies,” Chandar said. “In these galaxies, clusters can only be detected with the clear eye of the Hubble Space Telescope. No clusters can be detected even in the highest quality images taken with ground-based telescopes.”
Smith has led several large multiwavelength projects to better understand the evolutionary history of post-stellar galaxies. He found, for example, that the raw fuel for star formation – gas and dust – is still surprisingly high in some of these systems, including S12, even though no stars are currently forming.
“While studying the light of these galaxies at multiple wavelengths has helped determine the time of the outbreak, we had not been able to determine how powerful and how long the explosion actually was due to the formation of stellar stars,” Smith said. “And it’s important to know in order to better understand how these galaxies evolve.”
Astronomers used well-studied cluster masses and star formation rates in eight nearby galaxies to develop a new method that could be applied to determine recent star formation history in several post-stellar systems.
The researchers applied a different approach to S-12, short for SDSS 623-52051-207, because it was discovered and listed in the Sloan Digitized Sky Survey (SDSS).
“It must have had one of the highest degrees of star formation of any galaxy we’ve ever studied,” Chandar said. “S12 is the farthest galaxy I’ve ever worked on.”
Research shows that star formation in S12 was extinguished 70 million years ago after a short but intense eruption formed a series of the most massive known clusters with masses several times larger than the formation of peers in actively merging galaxies. The method also revealed a previous burst of star formation that the previous star light modeling method could not detect.
“These results suggest that the unusual history of the S12 may be even more complex than expected, and several major events make it difficult to shut down star formation completely,” Smith said.
The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA.
Chandar and Smith are two of four UToledo astronomers leading some of NASA’s first research projects on NASA’s new James Webb space telescope, due to launch in December.
Source: The Nordic Page