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“Catastrophic event” stopped growth of galaxy

Posted by 3citynewswire on 03/11/2010

A “catastrophic event” halted the birth of stars in a galaxy in the early Universe, scientists have revealed.

The researchers from Durham University’s Department of Physics observed the massive galaxy as it would have appeared billions of years ago.

They say the galaxy, which is similar to our Milky Way, exploded in a series of blasts trillions of times more powerful than any caused by an atomic bomb.

The blasts apparently happened every second for millions of years.

The explosion was said to have been caused from powerful winds prompted by dying stars or when debris overflowed from a black hole in the galaxy.

Dr Dave Alexander, who lead the research, said: “We are looking into the past and seeing a catastrophic event that essentially switched off star formation and halted the growth of a typical massive galaxy in the local Universe.”

The team now plans to study other massive star-forming galaxies in the early Universe to see if they display similar characteristics.

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