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Massive "Supply" Clouds of Star-Building Gases Found Surrounding Galaxies

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At www.redorbit.com


Simulation showing streams of fresh gas feeding a growing, modern galaxy.
(image by Image Credit: M. Fumagalli / Carnegie Observatories)

Researchers have discovered direct, empirical evidence of the existence of gas flows that are consumed by galaxies as fuel. A team studied data collected by the telescope's two ultraviolet spectrographs, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, and discovered 'large quantities of cool gas with very low quantities of heavy elements in the gaseous cocoons surrounding modern galaxies.' 'Meanwhile, the circumgalactic gas probed in this study was also found to have a mass comparable to that of all the gas within the galaxies themselves, thus providing a substantial reservoir for fueling continued star formation in modern galaxies.' 'This study confirms the earlier finding by the same team that metal-enriched gas is widespread even far from the galaxies themselves, likely sent there by strong outflows driven by supernovae.'

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