Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, Galaxies, General Astronomy, Star & Solar System Formation, Supernovae > Shedding Light On The Power Of M 82’s Superwinds

Shedding Light On The Power Of M 82’s Superwinds


An international team of astronomers, led by Dr. Kazuya Matsubayshi (Kyoto University), has discovered that outflows of gas from starburst galaxy M 82 collide with a “cap” of gas clouds 40,000 light years away from the galactic disk. Shockwaves from M 82’s central starburst region are the most likely source of the bright clouds within the cap. The large light-gathering power of Subaru Telescope’s 8.2-m mirror and its ability to produce highly detailed images enabled the researchers to make these findings, which provide important clues about the wind’s power.

The central regions of starburst galaxies are sites of immense star formation. They give birth to thousands of massive stars, which are dozens of times heavier than the Sun and then explode as supernovae when they die. Many supernovae explosions heat the gas around them to temperatures of more than a million degrees, and this hot gas flows out from the galaxy as galactic wind. These winds are so powerful that they may play an important role in the evolution of galaxies and the inter-galactic medium.

Full Story: http://www.naoj.org/Pressrelease/2012/12/26/index.html

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