Astronomers discover a star-creating galaxy that sheds light on the galactic cooling problem

Massive galaxy cluster spawns more than 700 stars a year

A newly discovered cluster of galaxies, more than 5 billion light years from Earth…is among the most massive clusters of galaxies in the universe, and produces X-rays at a rate faster than any other known cluster.

It also creates new stars at an “unmatched” pace of more than 700 per year, said Michael McDonald. “This extreme rate of star formation was unexpected,” he said during a NASA news conference Wednesday, noting that the Milky Way forms just one or two stars a year.

In addition to being massive, unique, and the biggest star-nursery in the universe, this area, called Phoenix, also helps theorists with something, the galactic cooling problem.

 

Phoenix Cluster: a combination of the X-ray, Optical, and Ultraviolet images, left; artists concept of the central galaxy, right. (photo: NASA)

 

For years scientists have been coming up with explanations for how stars are formed. The earliest being a mass of molecules would collapse in on themselves as fusion begins. The mass would then accumulate until its gravity becomes strong enough to spin, turn into a sphere, and pull on everything around it, collecting planets, asteroids, and other debris into its solar system.

But, this doesn’t take into account thermodynamics, specifically why doesn’t the star expand as it heats up. Indeed, several half-stars were observed in the universe stuck in this state of expansion unable to contract into the ultra-compact ball of a star.

That’s where a new theory comes in, the galactic “cooling flow”.

**There appears to be no name for the theory, all references are to a general theory theory of star formation.

This says the creation of stars is a lot like an explosion, with an initial burst of heat which then dissipates bringing cool air back into the explosion zone. In this case, thermonuclear fusion ignites much of the galaxy and begins sucking into the center lots of mass, including the surrounding galaxies.

As the (star) forms, this plasma initially heats up due to the gravitational energy released from the infall of smaller galaxies.

As the gas cools, it should condense and sink inward, a process known as a “cooling flow.” 

In the cluster’s center, this cooling flow can lead to very dense cores of gas, termed “cool cores,” which should fuel bursts of star formation in all clusters that go through this process. Most of these predictions had been confirmed with observations – the X-ray glow, the lower temperatures at the cluster centers – but starbursts accompanying this cooling remain rare. – TG Daily

 

A step forward in our knowledge of star formation, but something tells me we are not there yet.

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The new W hotel in Paris – brings in the invisible crime-scene art of Zevs

If you’re a fan of W hotels then the new W Paris Opéra is going to delight you.

Among the many artists brought in to remodel the 1870s Haussmann era building was French artist Zevs, known for his style of “exploring not what is seen, but what is left to the imagination.”

For the Suite 112 installation, Zevs worked with invisible ink that he created in a laboratory in New York City, mimicking the special red pigment used by police at crime scenes. “This red reminds you of the blood of a crime scene, but it’s also the most visible color, so I like the extreme aspect between the invisibility of the ink and the extreme visibility of the color,” he says.

We caught up with the artist at the opening night party, where a man dressed as a CSI expert shone a UV light slowly over the walls to reveal patterned Louis Vuitton wallpaper with Zevs’ signature dripping logos. “With the idea to place logos into a crime scene, I think simply the idea is to continue to investigate the territory of this fashion victim project I did last year,” he says, referring to a Sao Paolo Fashion Week event in which a naked model was “murdered” by a Louis Vuitton logo and Zevs outlined her body on the street in chalk.

via Cool Hunting