The elliptical-shaped and compact galaxies have always kept astronomers at perplex. It seems to have burned out when our universe was just three billion years old. A new study reveals some secrets why these had peaked at a young age and then stopped making stars.
Data used from observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope has helped scientists to know why some of the massive sized galaxies had quit making stars so early when the universe was even less than a quarter considering its present age.
The Milky Way galaxy is only twelve years old and it is even today making stars.
Sometimes the burnouts are also referred as “red and dead” as it has reddish hue. Scientists say those galaxies that make stars are blueish. NASA says the burnouts galaxies are of massive size similar to the large spiral galaxies of today, but with squeezed stars in an area much smaller than the other galaxies.
Astrophysics and cosmology professor Sune Toft at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen says the new findings suggest density of stars was ten times greater. He also added that the galaxies were already dead and hence they ceased to produce stars further.
Toft explains the burnouts may have started as intense starburst galaxies in the early universe and it may have immediately eaten away the gas around them and faded.
The new study is published in the online version of The Astrophysical Journal.
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990 into the orbit aboard the Discovery space shuttle. It is a joint project of European Space Agency and NASA.