Tonight's Sky
Sun
Sun
Moon
Moon
Mercury
Mercury
Venus
Venus
Mars
Mars
Jupiter
Jupiter
Saturn
Saturn

Tonight's Sky — Change location

OR

Searching...

Tonight's Sky — Select location

Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates

° '
° '

Scientists found a wave of ultra hot gas bigger than the Milky Way

Big waves keep on rolling. Perseus Galaxy Cluster keep on burning.
perseus_rollover_525
NASA/CXC/GSFC/S.A.Walker, et al.

Scientists found a wave of incredibly hot gas more than 200 million light years away in the Perseus galaxy cluster.

The study, which is published in the June 2017 issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, used data from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory to look into the galaxy cluster. The wave is about 200,000 light years across, which is twice the size of the Milky Way, and scientists believe it’s been around for billions of years.

Chandra found many interesting things while studying the hot burning gas in the galaxy cluster, but focused on area they call the “bay.”

perseus_sim
NASA/CXC/GSFC/S.A.Walker, et al.

The team took the 10.4 days worth of Chandra data collected and combined it with 5.8 days of wide-field observations to make an X-ray image of the gas cloud in Perseus. After that initial image was created, they then filtered the data to show the easier to miss details and compared the new and improved image to computer simulations of galaxy clusters.

The simulation they published shows the burning gas in the cluster settling into three different areas: a center of around 54 million degrees Fahrenheit (30 million degrees Celsius) they call the “cold” region, the area around that where the gas is triple the heat, and on the very outskirts is a smaller galaxy.

Scientists estimate that it took 2.5 billion years for the gas in the center to rise 500,000 light years when the flyby occurred and ended up disrupting the gas floating gas and caused the rolling waves.  

The researchers say this wave is a much bigger version of a Kelvin-Helmholtz wave, which is a wave caused by two fluids moving at different speeds past each other. The best example is the wind causing rippling waves across bodies of water. 

Scientists will continue to study the wave to learn more about waves in galaxy clusters and get more information about magnetic fields in the clusters.

0

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
Comment on this article
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of Astronomy.com are allowed to comment on this article. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0 comments
ADVERTISEMENT

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ExploringMarsBooklet_2

Click here to receive a FREE e-Guide exclusively from Astronomy magazine.

Find us on Facebook