Astronomers have spotted a galaxy that is igniting new stars faster than ever seen before. Measurements from several instruments show that gas in this galaxy is condensing to form stars close to the maximum rate thought possible.
The distant galaxy, 6 billion light years away, initially popped out of an image captured by a satellite-based NASA instrument called WISE, for Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. The image revealed infrared light, an indication of star formation, pouring out of the galaxy.
That rate of star formation combined with the estimate of available fuel indicates an efficiency close to the theoretical maximum, called the Eddington limit, so ferocious that most of the galaxy’s gas will be gone in just a few tens of millions of years, a brief episode in the course of its evolution. Read more.
Ocean biology alters the chemical composition of sea spray in ways that influence its ability to form clouds over the ocean. That’s the conclusion of a team of scientists using a new approach to study tiny atmospheric particles called aerosols that can influence climate by absorbing or reflecting sunlight and seeding clouds. By engineering breaking waves of natural ocean water under purified air in the lab, they were able to isolate and analyze aerosols from the spray and determine how life within the water altered the chemistry of the particles. Read more.
Our faculty, staff and alumni have been elected to prestigious scientific societies, awarded major fellowships and recognized for their efforts to increase diversity among physical scientists. Read more about recent awards.campus news site.