CXC: What Makes a Galaxy's Wind Blow

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CXC: What Makes a Galaxy's Wind Blow

Post by bystander » Thu Mar 30, 2023 9:44 am

NGC 253: Chandra Determines What Makes a Galaxy's Wind Blow
NASA | MSFC | SAO | Chandra X-ray Observatory | 2023 Mar 29
On Earth, wind can transport particles of dust and debris across the planet, with sand from the Sahara ending up in the Caribbean or volcanic ash from Iceland being deposited in Greenland. Wind can also have a big impact on the ecology and environment of a galaxy, just like on Earth, but on much larger and more dramatic scales.

A new study using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows the effects of powerful winds launched from the center of a nearby galaxy, NGC 253, located 11.4 million light-years from Earth. This galactic wind is composed of gas with temperatures of millions of degrees that glows in X-rays. An amount of hot gas equivalent to about two million Earth masses blows away from the galaxy's center every year. ...

A new composite image of NGC 253 in the inset includes Chandra data (pink and white) showing that these winds blow in two opposite directions away from the center of the galaxy, to the upper right and lower left. Also shown in this image is visible light data (cyan) and emission from hydrogen (orange), both from a 0.9 meter telescope at Kitt Peak Observatory, and infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (red). From Earth's vantage point, NGC 253 appears nearly edge-on, as seen in the wider image in the graphic, which shows an optical image from the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile. ...

X-ray Properties of NGC 253's Starburst-Driven Outflow ~ Sebastian Lopez et al
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