Home > Astronomy, Astrophysics, Galaxies, General Astronomy > Monster Galaxies Lose Their Appetite With Age

Monster Galaxies Lose Their Appetite With Age


Galaxy clusters. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SDSS/NOAO

Galaxy clusters. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SDSS/NOAO

Our universe is filled with gobs of galaxies, bound together by gravity into larger families called clusters. Lying at the heart of most clusters is a monster galaxy thought to grow in size by merging with neighboring galaxies, a process astronomers call galactic cannibalism.

New research from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is showing that, contrary to previous theories, these gargantuan galaxies appear to slow their growth over time, feeding less and less off neighboring galaxies.

“We’ve found that these massive galaxies may have started a diet in the last 5 billion years, and therefore have not gained much weight lately,” said Yen-Ting Lin of the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, lead author of a study published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-239

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