Scientists have witnessed the death of a galaxy 9 billion light-years from Earth. Previously, they imagined this process only in theory, but now they were able to observe it using the ALMA telescope.
In the center of attention of researchers was galaxy ID2299. She actively ejected star-forming gas. The rate of emissions was defined as “10 thousand solar masses per year. Scientists speculated that a collision with another galaxy could have caused such a cataclysm.
“This is the first time we have observed a typical massive star-forming galaxy in a distant universe that is about to die because of a massive emission of cold gas,” the authors of the scientific paper noted.
Scientists estimate that the galaxy has lost about 50% of the gas needed to form new stars. The remaining gas is likely to be rapidly (by cosmic standards), consumed – it may take no more than a hundred million years.
It used to be thought that galaxies lost gas to the cosmic wind or to massive black holes. But the new study shows that there are other causes, such as a collision with another galaxy.
The authors of the scientific paper noted that the events they see in galaxy ID2299 occurred just 4.5 billion years after the Big Bang. Such observations are important for understanding the processes that took place in the early Universe.