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The turbulent birth of stars in galactic collisions

05/22/2014

The effects of turbulence generated when two galaxies collide analyzed by astrophysicists at CEA and CNRS.

Using very high resolution numerical simulations, astrophysicists at the CEA and CNRS, led by Florent Renaud , have, for the very first time, achieved a detailed analysis of the effects of turbulence generated when two galaxies collide. These numerical simulations, in which the disordered motions of the gas contained in galaxies is seen at extremely small-scale resolutions, at last explains a phenomenon that astrophysicists have observed but which they have been unable to understood until now: that of "starbursts" of star formation observed when galaxies collide. A process of compressive turbulence helps to explain such starbursts, and why some galaxies form more stars than others. These results are published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Letters, May 2014.

More information on the CEA website.

Picture : CEA-SAp