New Galaxy Formation Theory Proposed

By | February 27, 2009

New Galaxy Formation Theory Proposed

Astrophysicists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have formulated a novel theory that takes issue with the prevailing view on the origin of galaxies. Their research, which was recently published in the journal Nature, concludes that the galaxies primarily formed as a result of intensive cosmic streams of cold gas (mostly hydrogen) and not as a result of galactic mergers. In fact, the scientists say that these mergers “had only limited influence on the cosmological makeup of the universe as we know it.†…

The scientists turned to computer simulations, which were carried out using one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe, in hopes to accurately simulate how galaxies formed in the early universe. The resulting model suggests that galaxy formation is a direct result of a continuous flow of cold gas along a few narrow streams, not a by-product of mergers. “These gas streams follow the filaments of the ‘cosmic web’ that defines the large-scale structure of matter in the universe, filaments that feed the dark-matter halos in the first place. These cold gas streams penetrate through the dark-matter halo of each galaxy and the hot gas that fills it and reach the center, where they become a rotating disk. These disks, each subject to its own, local, gravitational forces, break into a few giant clumps in which the gas converts into stars very efficiently†– explained the researchers.

via New Galaxy Formation Theory Proposed.

Leave a Reply