Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Baby Booms And Birth Control In Space

Date:
September 26, 2007
Source:
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Summary:
Stars in galaxies are a bit similar to people: during the first phase of their existence they grow rapidly, after which a stellar birth control occurs in most galaxies. Thanks to new observations it is now known that a part of the heavy galaxies already stopped forming stars when the universe was still a toddler, about three billion years old.

An artist's impression shows a primordial quasar as it might have been, surrounded by sheets of gas, dust, stars and early star clusters. New research suggests that heavy galaxies stopped forming stars when the universe was still a toddler, about 3 billion years old. Astronomers suspect that black holes (which are thought to exist in quasars) exert an influence on this halt in births.
Credit: NASA/ESA/ESO/Wolfram Freudling et al. (STECF)

Stars in galaxies are a bit similar to people: during the first phase of their existence they grow rapidly, after which a stellar birth control occurs in most galaxies.

New observations from Dutch astronomer Mariska Kriek with the Gemini Telescope on Hawaii and the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, have shown that a part of the heavy galaxies already stopped forming stars when the universe was still a toddler, about 3 billion years old. Astronomers suspect that black holes exert an influence on this halt in births.

Heavy galaxies are a boring phenomenon in the modern universe. They have an elliptical or a round form, the stars are evenly distributed over the galaxies and no more new stars are formed.

The large quantities of stars, about 10 billion, and the current, low birth rate point to the fact that star formation must have been much higher in the past. When were these stars formed and why did the star formation subsequently stop?

Black holes as a birth control measure

The finite speed of light makes it possible to study the universe when it was much younger than now. With the help of spectrographs, such as the Gemini Near-InfraRed Spectrograph and SINFONI on the VLT, Mariska Kriek and her colleagues studied 36 heavy galaxies in the early universe.

These galaxies are so far away that the light from them has taken 11 billion years to reach us. Interestingly the researchers found no signs of star formation for a large proportion of the galaxies observed. This new discovery contributes to the growing mass of evidence that the formation of new stars in heavy galaxies is strongly inhibited after an explosive baby boom.

This 'halt in births' is possibly due to the influence of the enormous black holes in the middle of the galaxies. The large amount of material attracted by these black holes generates enormous quantities of energy that subsequently heats up the gas in the galaxy.

As a result of this heating the gas is no longer able to form new stars. The researchers did indeed discover a black hole in a number of the galaxies they investigated. These were mainly the galaxies where the star formation was inhibited less than 1 billion years ago. These results support the idea that black holes limit the birth of new stars.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "Baby Booms And Birth Control In Space." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925092520.htm>.
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. (2007, September 26). Baby Booms And Birth Control In Space. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925092520.htm
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "Baby Booms And Birth Control In Space." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925092520.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse

NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse

AP (Apr. 15, 2014) Star gazers in parts of North and South America got a rare treat early Tuesday morning - a total eclipse of the moon. (April 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spacecrafts Could Use Urine As Fuel Source

Spacecrafts Could Use Urine As Fuel Source

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) New research says the urea from urine could be recycled for fuel. Urea is filtered out of wastewater when making drinking water. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Approves Mon. Space Station Supply Launch

NASA Approves Mon. Space Station Supply Launch

AP (Apr. 13, 2014) NASA decided Sunday to stick with the planned launch of the SpaceX cargo ship, despite a critical computer outage at the space station.Liftoff is scheduled for 4:58 p.m. Monday from Cape Canaveral. (April 13) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Blood Moon' Attracts Stargazers, Conspiracy Theories

'Blood Moon' Attracts Stargazers, Conspiracy Theories

Newsy (Apr. 13, 2014) Tuesday's total lunar eclipse will bring out both stargazers and conspiracy theorists alike as the blood red moon fills up the early morning sky. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins