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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

New galaxy Cluster discovered : NASA

  A massive so called galaxy cluster, one of the largest structures in the universe, has been discovered about 5.7 billion light years from earth and credited with setting several important new cosmic records, U.S-based researchers reported on Wednesday.

Phoenix Cluster:NASA
  The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said in a news release that observations of cluster, which as shown a prodigious rate of star formation, may force astronomers to rethink how such colossal structure and galaxies that inhabit them evolve over time.

  Known officially by an alphabet soup of numbers and letters as SPT-CLJ2344-4243, the cluster has been named as "Phoenix", after the mythological bird that rose from the dead.

  That's partly due to the constellation in which it lies.  But Michael McDonald, a Hubble fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the clusters was also a great way of thinking about the least astronomical wonder.

  "While galaxies at the center of most clusters may have been dormant for billions of years, the central galaxy in this cluster seems to have come back to life with a new burs of star formation," said McDonald, the lead author of the paper on Phoenix, appearing in the August 16 issue of Nature.

  Based on observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray observatory, the US National Science Foundation's South Pole Telescope and eight other observatories, researchers said the center of the Phoenix cluster had been linked to the creation of about "740 solar masses" or stars a year.

  Researchers said the "massive star burst" seen in Phoenix, as it gave birth to about two stars per day, suggest that its central galaxy black hole had failed to interfere with an extremely strong cooling flow.

  "Stars are forming in the phoenix cluster are at highest rate ever observed for the middle of a galaxy cluster.  The object also is the most powerful producer of X-ray of any known cluster and among the most massive.  The data also suggest the rate of hot gas cooling in the central regions of the cluster are the largest ever observed," reported on the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said in its news release.

Source: NASA

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