BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The universe has somewhat accustomed us with giant ancient objects getting destroyed but now we find that the brightest known galaxy is tearing apart.
The Universe, along with everything that’s in it, is incredibly old and incredibly big. Of course, astronomers talk about young stars and planets and galaxies but even those are a few thousand years old. And when it comes to size, things are no different. A tiny cosmic object is still always bigger than 100 km.
There is a galaxy we know, besides the Milky Way, that we consider to be the brightest. It is located at about 12.4 billion light-years from our planet and it is called W2246-0526. According to a new study published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, the galaxy has started to consume itself and it is believed that it will soon disappear.
This new discovery helps astronomers get a better understanding of how galaxies evolve. Why is this the brightest galaxy? The WISE spacecraft has analyzed it in the past and it has revealed that the infrared light coming from the galaxy is shining just as bright as our sun multiplied by 300 trillion.
The team of astronomers has conducted the new research in Chile, using ALMA. The telescope has enabled them to see how the contents of this galaxy move and interact, how the gas and dust move among the stars.
Just as any other galaxy, including the Milky Way, this galaxy has a large quantity of interstellar gas. This gas contributes to the creation of new stars. However, at some point each galaxy loses their gas and stop forming new stars. But the problem so far was that astronomers were unaware of why this is happening.
Now, thanks to the new discovery, they realized that at the center of the bright galaxy is a supermassive black hole. This is actually why the galaxy is so bright. All dust and gas are circling the edge of the hole, sending infrared light into the universe.
The infrared energy affects the entire galaxy, producing turbulence and leading to the eventual destruction of the galaxy. Therefore, we can assume that when a galaxy approaches its end something similar happens. Let us hope a supermassive black hole won’t form a disk of dust too soon in our Milky Way.
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