A colossal “cold front” hurtling through the Perseus galaxy cluster spans about two million light years and has been traveling for over five billion years, over a third of the age of the universe, longer than the existence of our Solar System. Astronomers expected that such an old cold front would have been blurred out or eroded over time because it has traveled for billions of years through a harsh environment of sound waves and turbulence caused by outbursts from the huge black hole at the center of Perseus.
One of the major problems in understanding the formation of galaxies is that approximately 80% of the baryons that make up the normal matter of galaxies is missing, expelled over eons from galaxies into inter-galactic space by the galactic winds created by stellar explosions.
In 2019, astronomers accidentally discovered the faint, shimmering blob of a monster galaxy cloaked in dust and a lot of mystery in the early universe. Like a cosmic Yeti, the scientific community generally regarded these galaxies as folklore, given the lack of evidence of their existence, but astronomers in the United States and Australia managed to snap a picture of the beast for the first time. The discovery provides new insights into the some of the biggest galaxies in the universe.
The new version of Hubble’s deep image is shown above. In dark grey you can see the new light that has been found surrounding nearly every galaxy in this field. That light corresponds to the brightness of more than one hundred billion suns. It took researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias almost three years to produce this deepest image of the Universe ever taken from space by recovering a large quantity of ‘lost’ light around the largest galaxies in the iconic Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF). (more…)
The black hole–part of a binary system called V404 Cygni, located about 7,800 light-years away from Earth– is actively pulling material away from a companion star — with about half the mass of the Sun — into a disk around the invisible object creating acolossal set of rings, has been captured using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory. The giant rings, which glow in X-rays, so astronomers refer to these systems as “X-ray binaries,” have revealed new information about dust located in our Galaxy.
“It boggles the mind that over 90% of the galaxies in the Universe have yet to be studied. Who knows what we will find when we observe these galaxies with the next generation of telescopes,” says astronomer Christopher Conselice, who led the 2016 team that discovered that there are ten times more galaxies in the universe than previously thought, and an even wider space to search for extraterrestrial life.