Astronomers spotted a galaxy dying after a major collision. It’s bleeding out 10,000 suns’ worth of gas each year.

SourceBusiness Insider
CountryMiddle east

Astronomers can see a distant galaxy dying as it bleeds cold gas into space. Such gas is critical for forming stars. Galaxies die when they can no longer do so. This galaxy formed from a collision in which two galaxies merged into one. That left a "tail" that's shedding 10,000 suns' worth of gas each year. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. For the first time, astronomers can clearly see a galaxy beginning to die. Nine billion light-years away, galaxy ID2299 is losing critical cold gas that helps create new stars. Every year, it's bleeding out enough gas to make 10,000 suns.

Already, it has lost nearly half of its cold gas. The rest is being used up to form new stars, at a pace hundreds of times faster than in the Milky Way. At this rate, the galaxy will soon run out of spare gas and be unable to make new stars. For a galaxy, that's death. The team of researchers that discovered ID2299 and its impending demise published their findings on Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy. They think ID2299 formed after two galaxies crashed together and merged, creating a new galaxy. This resulting galaxy has a telltale "tidal tail," from which streams more...