Giant galaxies akin to snowflakes in space

Feb 21, 2011

( -- Giant galaxies that contain billions of stars are born in much the same way as delicate snowflakes, new research from Swinburne University of Technology has shown.

In a paper accepted for publication in the , Professor Duncan Forbes has provided the first direct evidence to support a theory of that he has likened to the birth of a snowflake.

Forbes, with the help of international collaborators, analysed data from three different telescopes in order to help confirm this galaxy formation theory proposed last year by German astronomer Ludwig Oser and his colleagues.

“What we’ve found is that galaxies form in two phases. Firstly, an inner region of stars is formed from collapsing gas. This region then acts as a core, or `seed’, around which the galaxy grows as the result of stars which are acquired from other smaller galaxies,” he said.

According to Professor Jean Brodie from the University of California, “our work provides some of the best evidence for this inside-out build up of giant galaxies.’’

What intrigued the astronomers was the similarity between this inside-out process for giant galaxy formation and the way that snowflakes are formed.

“Snowflake formation requires a `seed’ to get it started. In the case of , that `seed’ is a microscopic dust grain. Having a core from which to build upon is comparable to the formation of a giant galaxy,” Forbes said.

“Then, in much the same way as water vapour accumulates to grow the snowflake, small galaxies and their stars are accreted onto the galaxy core.”

The astronomers based their conclusions on observations of the massive elliptical galaxy NGC1407, one of the largest galaxies in the southern skies with over 10 billion stars.

They made their observations using two giant telescopes in Hawaii – the 8.2 metre Subaru and the 10 metre Keck, the largest optical telescope in the world. They also included data collected from the Hubble Space Telescope.

“Our data came from three of the world’s premier telescopes, and in each case it supported the ‘snowflake theory’ of galaxy formation,” Forbes said. “This means we can be very confident in our findings.”

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Provided by Swinburne University of Technology

4.4 /5 (8 votes)

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1.4 / 5 (10) Feb 21, 2011
Great. Astronomers are making progress. Formation of galaxies grows from the core, from the inside-out, not from the outside-in. Still, they haven't yet got to the point where they dare consider that much of the new matter that forms the galaxy actually nucleates from within the core star; from ejections due to periodic instabilities in the non-black, black-hole. Snowflakes? Are they weathermen? But it is progress!
1 / 5 (8) Feb 21, 2011
Tuxford is right.

Galaxies grow from the core, from the inside-out, not from the outside-in.

Neutron repulsion is the mechanism that causes massive neutron stars to explode:

A. Scientific Genesis: 3. Neutron Repulsion

B. "Neutron Repulsion" [The APEIRON Journal, 19 pages, in press, 2011]

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
5 / 5 (1) Feb 22, 2011
What other ways of growing could there be?

If the galaxy is not growing by incorporating smaller galaxies and globular and other star clusters around it, then there would have to exist a mechanism that prevents them from being born, so that the galaxy can grow by accumulating pristine hydrogen from around itself.

Sice galaxy formation takes a long time, it would be peculiar to assume that other galaxy formation would not exist in the immediate vicinity.

Thus, I cannot imagine any other way for galaxies to grow.
Feb 22, 2011
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1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 03, 2011
Consider that new matter is formed now, and not just at the imagined Big Bang event. With decades of announced physics concluding otherwise, this idea is threatening somehow. Ask yourself why? Has physics always been right?

With so many new astronomical observations indicating otherwise, why not rethink? Maybe the experts missed something fundamental along the way? Like that in the dense cores of 'finite' density 'Black' holes, an unknown physics process is nucleating 'new' matter out of 'nothing'. At least it is from 'nothing' as defined as our known universe. And thus, that under these conditions, the First Law of Thermodynamics is not valid. Perhaps our universe is an open-system afterall.
1 / 5 (3) Mar 03, 2011
Has physics always been right?

With so many new astronomical observations indicating otherwise, why not rethink?

I agree, Tuxford. The problem developed because unexpected observations were ignored.

These videos show some of the unexpected experimental observations:

1. Birth of the Solar System

2. Composition of the Sun

3. Sun's source of energy