India's AstroSat telescope makes awesome discovery in space

This new study by an international team of scientists using India's AstroSat data has found evidence about how a dwarf galaxy evolves into a mature galaxy. Read more.

| Updated on: Aug 04 2022, 20:38 IST
James Webb Space Telescope captures STUNNING Cartwheel Galaxy: NASA
1/5 The stunning image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope was released by NASA on August 3. The image showed the Cartwheel Galaxy spinning ring of colour in never-before-seen clarity. (NASA)
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2/5 The image was captured by the James Webb Space Telescope’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and MIRI instrument. It showed individual stars within the star-forming regions in the outer ring of the Cartwheel galaxy. It also shows clusters of very young stars around the galaxy's central supermassive black hole shrouded in dust. (NASA)
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3/5 The Cartwheel galaxy is located in the constellation Sculptor, around 500 million light years away from Earth. According to the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), the galaxy’s shape was developed because of a head-on collision between 2 galaxies which created 2 rings from the galaxy’s center like "like ripples in a pond after a stone is tossed into it.” (AFP)
4/5 The stunning image captured by telescope showed areas rich in hydrocarbons and silicate dust, connecting the inner and outer ring of the galaxy. The Hubble Telescope had also earlier captured the Cartwheel, but it was a mystery due to the amount of dust that hinders the view. The new $10 billion telescope makes these features much easier to distinguish and study. (ESA/Hubble)
5/5 However, the galaxy is still in transformation from the collision between the 2 galaxies. Therefore, the observations will change with time and it will be interesting to see what happens next. (NASA)
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India's AstroSat telescope helped to find evidence of dwarf galaxy formation. (Representative Image) (NASA)

How do galaxies evolve? How do new planets and stars form in a galaxy? These and many other such questions keep astronomers and scientists hooked to various space telescopes to get the answers and notably India's AstroSat telescope has helped push the boundaries of research much farther. In the latest development, a new study by an international team of researchers has observed a dwarf galaxy and this has opened a window to find out how these galaxies evolved from a dwarf state to a mature one. Dwarf galaxies orbit larger galaxies such as the Milky Way Galaxy, which is home to a few billion stars, unlike large galaxies which can contain hundreds of billions of stars. The study was published in the journal Nature.

Earlier, research had suggested that some dwarf galaxies may evolve to become mature galaxies. Though, there wasn't enough evidence and information about how these dwarf galaxies evolve from miniature form to a mature galaxy. Now, this new study while using India's first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory, AstroSat, focused on several blue compact dwarf galaxies. These dwarf galaxies are estimated to be approximately 1.5 to 3.9 billion light-years from Earth. Also read: WARNING! Increasing Solar Storms put satellites at risk

How do Galaxies evolve

An international team of astronomers used the ultraviolet imaging AstroSat telescope to look for the evidence of the star formation in these galaxies. The results were surprising! The researchers found that there is movement of material from the outer edges towards the centre of 11 observed dwarf galaxies from a sample of distant Blue Compact Dwarf (BCD) galaxies. According to the study, this accretion of material towards the inner part of the galaxy would lead to the creation of new stars and other bodies such as planets or moons.

This process of moving material from the outer edges towards the centre is due to the torque from gas and stellar complexes. However, these findings were the result of the analysis of 17 long hours of data collected from AstroSat.

Though, researchers suggest that this observation is just a baby step toward understanding how dwarf galaxies evolve to become mature galaxies and how they give birth to new planets and stars within them.

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First Published Date: 04 Aug, 20:37 IST
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