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Six Precious Ways To Die (If You're A Galaxy)


Galaxies are dying and in fact most of them have been dying for a long time. Because? As? Does it happen to the Milky Way too? We begin to answer these questions, although the topic at hand is an open case for astrophysicists around the world.

Galaxies die.

Ours is already in a spiral, never better said, of natural degradation that seems to have no way back.

How do galaxies die?

Basically, they die strangled, poisoned, harassed, they can also do it from heat stroke, intoxicated, or cannibalized.

Or in several ways at once, the life of galaxies is not easy.

We explain it.

In one of our articles some time ago we described one of the greatest discoveries made by the Hubble Space Telescope, more than 20 years ago: our universe, the galaxies in it, is dying.

We explained that for quite some time now, some 9 billion years, 60% of the age of the universe, galaxies have been forming fewer and fewer stars, they are slowly fading away.

The stars they have will gradually disappear (at their own pace, it won't be tomorrow either) and eventually the starlight will go out in the universe.

Today we want to deal with the ways in which galaxies are dying, which are quite varied, perhaps due to the existence of a plot to annihilate the galaxies and for the universe to turn the page and become the kingdom of the cosmic vacuum ( As we are giving publicity with our section to that emptiness,

We hope you will take this into account in due course).

How to kill a galaxy?

Here are two scenes of the crimes that are killing the galaxies.

First crime scene.

We are in a crowded place, with hundreds if not thousands of witnesses, a small galaxy walks in full of life, forming stars like no one has seen it before, but in reality it is going into the wolf's den and ending up dead.

How can it be?

In environments with many galaxies, the so-called clusters, galaxies can die in three different ways.

One of them is because the largest galaxies are quite bully.

Perhaps unintentionally, but a large galaxy, if a smaller one gets close enough, the effect of gravity that it exerts on different areas of that defenseless little one is so different that it ends up breaking it, and then possibly swallowing it and cannibalizing it.

Crime is not exclusive to the world of galaxies or in areas where there are many.

It also occurs in less crowded environments or even on a planetary scale.

The origin of Saturn's rings lies in that different force of gravity in different areas that asteroids or even entire moons suffer if they get too close.

The difference in forces can become more intense than what holds that star together (its own gravity), and it ends up shattered.

We, understood as the Milky Way, are also guilty of this


, we are doing it to quite a few galaxies, like the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy.

But another day we talked about her.

A galaxy can also die when it enters an area where there are many more companions, let's say that the environment in those areas is usually very charged.

Large galaxies that have been around for a long time have often heated up the material, especially gas, between galaxies.

Because this gas is so hot, it cannot become denser to give rise to stars.

Even such a hot environment can transfer some heat to the gas of the galaxy itself.

We say that it evaporates its fuel to form stars, dying in the end from heat stroke and starvation.

That galaxy, which came wanting to continue being very active, the great galaxies that have been in the cluster for eons turn it into a glanders like them, strangling it without being able to breathe (that is, obtain gas to form



The last way for galaxies that enter a cluster to die is due to a collision.

When a small galaxy is attracted by a cluster, it gains speed, because it is increasingly attracted by the great mass of that cluster.

Imagine yourself on a roller coaster, falling faster and faster.

The lightest tends to lag behind, and if you find yourself in a denser environment, the most normal thing is for your hair to fly in the wind and your cheeks to get inside.

Well, the same thing happens to a galaxy, gas is left behind and in the end it dies of suffocation, without material to form new stars.

Clearly, bad company kills galaxies.

But the loneliest are not spared either.

Second crime scene: lonely galaxy is found dead at home.

The theory that is used for her death is (self) poisoning.

There are certain hidden forces in galaxies, and we are talking about supermassive black holes, which poison the environment and make the gas around a galaxy useless to form stars, dooming it to death.

There are even galaxies that die of success, because they form stars so fast that those stars themselves prevent more from forming.

And other galaxies could die more easily simply because they have reached a state of equilibrium in their lives that prevents them from evolving further, they have reached their comfort zone from which they will never move again until they go out.

What happens to the Milky Way?

Is any of this happening to you?

Well, our galaxy is isolated enough that the last way to die is the most likely cause of your demise, which is coming.

We are also falling into denser areas of galaxies, so they will end up harassing us, taking what little gas we have left, and leaving us with no air to breathe, until we black out forever.

So that we are not accused of being alarmists, we will say that it will take a long time for that, several lifetimes on Earth, but the process already seems unstoppable.

Cosmic Void

is a section in which our knowledge about the universe is presented in a qualitative and quantitative way.

It is intended to explain the importance of understanding the cosmos not only from a scientific point of view but also from a philosophical, social and economic point of view.

The name "cosmic vacuum" refers to the fact that the universe is and is, for the most part, empty, with less than one atom per cubic meter, despite the fact that in our environment, paradoxically, there are quintillions of atoms per meter cubic, which invites us to reflect on our existence and the presence of life in the universe.

The section is made up of

Pablo G. Pérez González

, a researcher at the Center for Astrobiology;

Eva Villaver

, researcher at the Center for Astrobiology;


Patricia Sánchez Blázquez

, full professor at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM).

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-02-15

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