In a quest to learn more about our own galaxy, a Sydney astronomer has identified dozens of previously unknown galaxies in a distant cluster.
Using one of the world’s largest optical telescopes, Dr Amanda Bauer—an ARC Super Science Fellow at the Australian Astronomical Observatory—and her team around the world have been studying this cluster closely. They have found that the galaxies close together in the crowded centre of the cluster mature faster than those in isolation on the cluster’s outskirts.
“We are trying to find out why galaxies stop growing and mature, because this will tell us something about the ultimate fate of our own galaxy, the Milky Way,” Amanda says.
A galaxy grows when it is forming new stars. Amanda is trying to find out what stops galaxies from doing this, therefore reaching maturity. [continue reading…]