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Astronomers Discover Important New Information Regarding Star Formation

Grim Reaper 6

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Their recent research on the nearby galaxy M33 suggests that fast cosmic ray electrons can generate winds that blow away the gas required for the formation of new stars.  As galaxies evolve over time, these winds are what cause the star formation rate to slow down. However, the primary sources of such winds have been attributed to material jets powered by black holes and shock waves from supernova explosions. Cosmic rays were assumed to be small contributors, especially in galaxies with prolific star formation, such as M33.

Based on their observations, the astronomers concluded that the numerous supernova explosions and supernova remnants in M33’s giant complexes of prolific star formation made such cosmic ray-driven winds more likely. “This means that cosmic rays probably are a more general cause of galactic winds, particularly at earlier times in the universe’s history, when star formation was happening at a much higher rate,” Tabatabaei said. She added, “This mechanism thus becomes a more important factor in understanding the evolution of galaxies over time.”


Cloud-scale radio surveys of star formation and feedback in Triangulum Galaxy M 33: VLA observations: https://academic.oup.com/mnras/article-abstract/517/2/2990/6764519?redirectedFrom=fulltext&login=false



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