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Astronomers discover rare new galaxies on the verge of death

For the first time, an astrophysicist at the University of Kansas discovered an extremely rare galaxy that fundamentally changed the understanding of galaxies' deaths. At the 234th meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Thursday, Allison Kirkpatrick showed off her "cold quasar", a very bright, dying galaxy.

 Astronomers discover rare new galaxies on the verge of death

The center of the quasar is basically a huge supermassive black hole surrounded by a large amount of gas and dust. The surrounding material releases huge energy in the process of rapidly falling into the black hole in a way similar to "friction heat generation", making them super bright. - Brighter than ordinary galaxies. They can be generated when two galaxies are merged.Eventually, gas and dust will begin to fall into the center of the quasar and be blown into space. Astronomers speculate that this is basically the end of a galaxy's life, it has lost the ability to form new stars, and become "passive", but Kirkpatrick and her research team found that these cold quasars A small number of stars are also formed in a small part.

Using X-ray and infrared telescopes, the researchers found that 22 quasars from the Earth's 6 to 12 billion light years showed unusual characteristics. From an optical point of view, they look like they are in the final stages of "life." However, they still emit bright far infrared rays, which contain a lot of dust and gas.

“These galaxies are very rare because they are in transition,” Kirkpatrick said in a press release. "We have discovered them before the star formation in the Milky Way is extinguished. This transition period should be very short.