National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Explosive Birth of Stars Swells Galactic Cores - ALMA spots transforming disk galaxies

| Science

Artist’s impression of a disk galaxy transforming in to an elliptical galaxy. Stars are actively formed in the massive reservoir of dust and gas at the center of the galaxy. Original size (6.4MB)

Astronomers found that active star formation upswells galaxies, like yeast helps bread rise. Using three powerful telescopes on the ground and in orbit, they observed galaxies from 11 billion years ago and found explosive formation of stars in the cores of galaxies. This suggests that galaxies can change their own shape without interaction with other galaxies.

These observation results were published as Tadaki et al. “Bulge-forming Galaxies with an Extended Rotating Disk at z ~ 2” in the Astrophysical Journal in January 2017 and “Rotating Starburst Cores in Massive Galaxies at z = 2.5” in the Astrophysical Journal Letters in May 2017.