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Primeur weekly 2015-01-19

The Cloud

IBM opens first Cloud centre in Mexico ...

Desktop Grids

7th International Workshop on Science Gateways to issue Call for Papers ...

University of Westminster in search of two Research Associates for European CloudSME project ...

EuroFlash

Gridwise acquired by Red Stack Tech ...

PRACE to collaborate with Women in HPC on camera and cover ...

Michael M. Resch was awarded title of professor honoris causa ...

ANSYS partners With Leading European Supercomputing Center ...

Horizon 2020 - Call 2 Information Day and Networking event for 'Future Internet' ...

Calibre releases new LEDView325DS digital signage LED videowall scaler ...

Shaping the Future of Digital Social Innovation in Europe ...

Bright Computing is chosen to manage the world's most powerful supercomputer dedicated to life sciences research ...

1000th researcher subscribed to TraIT platform ...

GEANT Association signs contract with new Certificate Authority ...

Bright Computing boosts investment in EMEA ...

Galactic 'hailstorm' in the early universe ...

USFlash

Atomic placement of elements counts for strong concrete ...

Supercomputing Frontiers 2015 Conference to issue Call for Participation ...

IDC MarketScape names DataDirect Networks a leader in object-based storage market ...

IBM launches z13 mainframe ...

ANSYS power noise and reliability solutions adopted by Fujitsu for high-performance processor designs ...

RDA/US and CENDI announce partnership to promote innovations in data sharing and exchange ...

New report says no technological replacement exists for bulk data collection ...

Rice-sized laser, powered one electron at a time, bodes well for quantum computing ...

Shining a light on quantum dots measurement ...

New analyst report cites IBM as the leading Hadoop provider among developers ...

Galactic 'hailstorm' in the early universe


Tiago Costa
16 Jan 2015 Cambridge - Two teams of astronomers led by researchers at the University of Cambridge have looked back nearly 13 billion years, when the Universe was less than 10 percent its present age, to determine how quasars - extremely luminous objects powered by supermassive black holes with the mass of a billion suns - regulate the formation of stars and the build-up of the most massive galaxies.

Using a combination of data gathered from powerful radio telescopes and supercomputer simulations, the teams found that a quasar spits out cold gas at speeds up to 2000 kilometres per second, and across distances of nearly 200,000 light years - much farther than has been observed before.

How this cold gas - the raw material for star formation in galaxies - can be accelerated to such high speeds had remained a mystery. Detailed comparison of new observations and supercomputer simulations has only now allowed researchers to understand how this can happen: the gas is first heated to temperatures of tens of millions of degrees by the energy released by the supermassive black hole powering the quasar. This enormous build-up of pressure accelerates the hot gas and pushes it to the outskirts of the galaxy.

The supercomputer simulations show that on its way out of the parent galaxy, there is just enough time for some of the hot gas to cool to temperatures low enough to be observable with radio telescopes. The results are presented in two separate papers published on 16 January in the journalsMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical SocietyandAstronomy & Astrophysics.

Quasars are amongst the most luminous objects in the Universe, and the most distant quasars are so far away that they allow us to peer back billions of years in time. They are powered by supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies, surrounded by a rapidly spinning disk-like region of gas. As the black hole pulls in matter from its surroundings, huge amounts of energy are released.

"It is the first time that we have seen outflowing cold gas moving at these large speeds at such large distances from the supermassive black hole", stated Claudia Cicone, a PhD student at Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory and Kavli Institute for Cosmology, and lead author on the first of the two papers. "It is very difficult to have matter with temperatures this low move as fast as we observed."

Claudia Cicone's observations allowed the second team of researchers specialising in supercomputer simulations to develop a detailed theoretical model of the outflowing gas around a bright quasar.

"We found that while gas is launched out of the quasar at very high temperatures, there is enough time for some of it to cool through radiative cooling - similar to how the Earth cools down on a cloudless night", stated Tiago Costa, a PhD student at the Institute of Astronomy and the Kavli Institute for Cosmology, and lead author on the second paper. "The amazing thing is that in this distant galaxy in the young Universe the conditions are just right for enough of the fast moving hot gas to cool to the low temperatures that Claudia and her team have found."

Working at the IRAM Plateau De Bure interferometer in the French Alps, the researchers gathered data in the millimetre band, which allows observation of the emission from the cold gas which is the primary fuel for star formation and main ingredient of galaxies, but is almost invisible at other wavelengths.

The research was supported by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the Isaac Newton Trust and the European Research Council (ERC). The computer simulations were run using the Computer Cluster DARWIN, operated by the University of Cambridge High Performance Computing Service, as part of STFCs DiRAC supercomputer facility.
Source: University of Cambridge

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2015-01-19

The Cloud

IBM opens first Cloud centre in Mexico ...

Desktop Grids

7th International Workshop on Science Gateways to issue Call for Papers ...

University of Westminster in search of two Research Associates for European CloudSME project ...

EuroFlash

Gridwise acquired by Red Stack Tech ...

PRACE to collaborate with Women in HPC on camera and cover ...

Michael M. Resch was awarded title of professor honoris causa ...

ANSYS partners With Leading European Supercomputing Center ...

Horizon 2020 - Call 2 Information Day and Networking event for 'Future Internet' ...

Calibre releases new LEDView325DS digital signage LED videowall scaler ...

Shaping the Future of Digital Social Innovation in Europe ...

Bright Computing is chosen to manage the world's most powerful supercomputer dedicated to life sciences research ...

1000th researcher subscribed to TraIT platform ...

GEANT Association signs contract with new Certificate Authority ...

Bright Computing boosts investment in EMEA ...

Galactic 'hailstorm' in the early universe ...

USFlash

Atomic placement of elements counts for strong concrete ...

Supercomputing Frontiers 2015 Conference to issue Call for Participation ...

IDC MarketScape names DataDirect Networks a leader in object-based storage market ...

IBM launches z13 mainframe ...

ANSYS power noise and reliability solutions adopted by Fujitsu for high-performance processor designs ...

RDA/US and CENDI announce partnership to promote innovations in data sharing and exchange ...

New report says no technological replacement exists for bulk data collection ...

Rice-sized laser, powered one electron at a time, bodes well for quantum computing ...

Shining a light on quantum dots measurement ...

New analyst report cites IBM as the leading Hadoop provider among developers ...