Heavy-element mapping challenges conventional theory

IVCs, or intermediate-velocity clouds, are unique space clouds characterized by their rapid motion. Thousands of light years above the Milky Way, they float. These clouds are significant because they contain the material that forms planets and stars.

According to conventional wisdom, elements are sent back into space when stars explode in massive explosions called supernovae. These elements mix with the clouds. These nuclear reactions and explosions occurring in our galaxy are the source of the heavy metals found in IVCs.

Using a map of dust by the Planck satellite and a map of radio waves emitted from hydrogen, researchers at Nagoya University in Japan discovered that IVCs contain far fewer heavy elements than previously reported. This novel study of the origin of intermediate-velocity clouds (IVCs) casts doubt on a two-decade-old theory and heralds a new era in deep space exploration.

Researchers have created the first accurate map describing the distribution of heavy element abundances in gas clouds falling on the interstellar plane. After studying IVCs and high-velocity clouds, the researchers were surprised to find that the abundance of heavy elements in IVCs differed from previous models. Their discovery casts doubt on the conventional galactic fountain model, a theory that explains how gas cycles around our galaxy.

Takahiro Hayakawa of Nagoya University said. „The galactic fountain model describes the circulation of gas ejected from the galactic plane by events such as supernova explosions, similar to how a fountain continually recycles water. Researchers often cite the model to explain IVCs because they believed these clouds contained metals similar to the stars that supposedly produced them.

The term „metallicity” describes the abundance of heavy elements such as oxygen and iron in stars and galaxies. Research has found that the metallicity of intermediate-velocity clouds (IVCs) is much lower than expected, suggesting their extragalactic origin.

READ  'Mock' alien message received from Mars for the first time, training to decode it

Precise measurements and abundant data were obtained by researchers using sophisticated procedures and data from the Planck satellite. A long-standing mystery about the age and metallicity of ancient stars close to the Sun may be solved with the help of this research.

Further research into the expansion and evolution of our galaxy over billions of years may result from these results. It also provides information about the evolution of other galaxies in the universe.

Journal Note:

  1. Takahiro Hayakawa, Yasuo Fukui. Dust-to-neutral gas ratio of intermediate and high-velocity HI clouds derived based on sub-mm dust emission for the whole sky. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stae302

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *