June 2016: Evidence found supporting MSU astronomers' theoretical model

  • Jun 1, 2016


In earlier research, described here, MSU Physics & Astronomy Professors Mark Voit and Megan Donahue, along with other astrophysicists from other institutions, presented an explanation of the differing rates of star formation in different galaxy clusters which used analogies to rain formation in our own planet's atmosphere.

In a new article in Nature by a research team led by Grant Tremblay of the Yale University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics and including Professors Voit and Donahue, the results of observations are presented which show one of their predictions in action. The influence of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxy clusters' main galaxies in heating gases which have not yet formed stars is one of the major components of their research team's model. Studying the central galaxy of the Abell 2597 galaxy cluster, they have been able to find a system of gas clouds streaming in towards its core supermassive black hole at 800,000 miles per hour and exhibiting behavior similar to that predicted by the model.

For more information, see the original article in Nature (Volume 534, Issue 7606, pp. 218-221, 09 June 2016)this MSU Today article, or this article on Yale Professor Tremblay's website.