Australian National University | 2018 Oct 29
Astronomers from ANU and CSIRO have witnessed, in the finest detail ever, the slow death of a neighbouring dwarf galaxy, which is gradually losing its power to form stars.
The new peer-reviewed study of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), which is a tiny fraction of the size and mass of the Milky Way galaxy, uses images taken with CSIRO's powerful Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope.
Lead researcher Professor Naomi McClure-Griffiths from ANU said the features of the radio images were more than three times finer than previous SMC images, which allowed the team to probe the interactions between the small galaxy and its environment with more accuracy.
"We were able to observe a powerful outflow of hydrogen gas from the Small Magellanic Cloud," said Professor McClure-Griffiths from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at ANU.
"The implication is the galaxy may eventually stop being able to form new stars if it loses all of its gas. Galaxies that stop forming stars gradually fade away into oblivion. It's sort of a slow death for a galaxy if it loses all of its gas." ...
Cold gas outflows from the Small Magellanic Cloud traced with ASKAP ~ N.M. McClure-Griffiths et al
- Nature Astronomy (online 29 Oct 2019) DOI: 10.1038/s41550-018-0608-8