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Gigantic Galaxy Discovered

galaxies radio galaxies lofar astron radio astronomy

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 02:02 PM

LOFAR discovers new giant galaxy in all-sky survey


ASTRON said:

A team of astronomers led by ASTRON astronomer Dr. George Heald has discovered a previously unknown gigantic radio galaxy, using initial images from a new, ongoing all-sky radio survey. The galaxy was found using the powerful International LOFAR Telescope (ILT), built and designed by ASTRON. The team is currently performing LOFAR's first all-sky imaging survey, the Multi-frequency Snapshot Sky Survey (MSSS). While browsing the first set of MSSS images, Dr. Heald identified a new source the size of the full moon projected on the sky. The radio emission is associated with material ejected from one member of an interacting galaxy triplet system tens to hundreds of millions of years ago. The physical extent of the material is much larger than the galaxy system itself, extending millions of light years across intergalactic space. The MSSS survey is still ongoing, and is poised to discover many new sources like this one.

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#2    Taun

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:30 PM

Amazing... I'm just sitting here trying to grasp the sheer amount of material ejected...

Was the material ejected by the gravitational pull of the other two galaxies? Or is something else at work here?


#3    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:37 PM

View PostTaun, on 20 March 2013 - 03:30 PM, said:

Was the material ejected by the gravitational pull of the other two galaxies?
No, if the pull of the other two galaxies was sufficient to do that it would simply tear the Giant Radio Galaxy apart.

Many galaxies eject material, probably as the result of a massive black hole. See this wiki article: Polar jet.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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Also tagged with galaxies, radio galaxies, lofar, astron, radio astronomy

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