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    Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    Cosmic Collisions

    According to MSNBC, colliding galaxies helped build the universe. When the galaxies collide, star formation is triggered and black hole growth increases!

    The illustration shows two young galaxies in the process of merging. The merger has triggered a burst of star formation and is providing fuel for the growth of the galaxies' central supermassive black holes.

    According to one investigation, scientists examine star-forming galaxies (ie young ones full o fenergy) and found that black holes appear to grow continuously while stars are being born. Around 10 billion years ago, many of the distant galaxies went through this growth spurt. Remember, that a galaxy that far away would take that many years for the light to reach us, so in that respect, we are witnessing events from the distant past...

    Astronomers believe it is the merging of galaxies that triggers both this star formation and intense black hole growth...

    "These findings provide direct observational support for the simultaneous growth of large galaxies and their black holes," said study leader David Alexander of the University of Cambridge.

    The galaxies were found with the James Clerk Maxwell submillimeter telescope. The Keck Observatory in Hawaii revealed the rate of star birth. Then NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was employed to detect the hot gas around the presumed black holes, which provided information about the growth rates of those central gravity wells.

    Read more here... very interesting stuff. The ending statement says it all really...

    Galactic mergers are less frequent nowadays. But in a few billion years, our own Milky Way will collide with the Andromeda Galaxy.

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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