Giant Green Glowing Space Blob Mystery Solved

Posted: Sep 22 2016, 12:00pm CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Giant Green Glowing Space Blob Mystery Solved
This rendering shows a snapshot from a cosmological simulation of a Lyman-alpha Blob similar to LAB-1. This simulation tracks the evolution of gas and dark matter using one of the latest models for galaxy formation running on the NASA Pleiades supercomputer. This view shows the distribution of gas within the dark matter halo, color coded so that cold gas (mainly neutral hydrogen) appears red and hot gas appears white. Credit: J.Geach/D.Narayanan/R.Crain
  • Scientists capture pictures of star going off like fireworks

An international team of researchers has caught hydrogen based Lyman-alpha Blob in action as it eats up other smaller galaxies. Their ALMA and other telescopes have now finally discovered the power source of this illuminating a so-called Lyman-alpha green Blob. Galactic fireworks actually illuminate these monster hydrogen blobs in space.

Take a look at the newly captured pictures of fireworks going on in outer space. The incredible pictures are of a hydrogen based gas formation source, often times referred to as the Lyman-alpha Blobs (LABs).

The blob is responsible for emitting incredible degrees of bright and illuminating light in another galaxy. The pictures were captured by an international team of scientists studying the source of the power emitting phenomenon.

The researchers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) along with other telescopes to receive these stunning pictures.

The researchers had been studying the bright spot in the other galaxy as to why is it shining so bright. They found the gas formation or blob is shining so bright because two small galaxies seems to be in a reaction at the heart of this huge blob.

The galaxies in the blob seem to be undergoing furious star formation, thus leading to all that light formation. Scientists are predicting the two galaxies will eventually merge into one single elliptical galaxy, but the cluster of stars and galaxies is still in its early phase.

Jim Geach, lead author of the new study accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal, explains: "Think of a streetlight on a foggy night -- you see the diffuse glow because light is scattering off the tiny water droplets. A similar thing is happening here, except the streetlight is an intensely star-forming galaxy and the fog is a huge cloud of intergalactic gas. The galaxies are illuminating their surroundings."

The LABs can even take up to hundreds of thousands of light-years to make or merge galaxies. The current LAB is at a very large cosmic distance from the earth.

LABs can be distinguished from other galactic light emitting reaction by their unique light signatures. LABs are known for releasing light with a characteristic wavelength of ultraviolet light.

One of the largest known LABs ever recorded by man-kind is the SSA22-Lyman-alpha blob 1, or LAB-1, which was discovered back in the year 2000. LAB-1 is located more than 11.5 billion years away from earth.

"Unveiling the galaxies shrouded in LAB-1 did more than just put to bed the longstanding issue of the gas cloud's glow," said Desika Narayanan of Haverford College in Pennsylvania and coauthor of the paper. "It provided a rare opportunity to see how young, growing galaxies behaved when the universe was quite young."

Jim Geach concludes, "What's exciting about these blobs is that we are getting a rare glimpse of what's happening around these young, growing galaxies. For a long time, the origin of the extended Lyman-alpha light has been controversial. But with the combination of new observations and cutting-edge simulations, we think we have solved a 15-year-old mystery: Lyman-alpha Blob-1 is the site of formation of a massive elliptical galaxy that will one day be the heart of a giant cluster. We are seeing a snapshot of the assembly of that galaxy 11.5 billion years ago."

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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