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The largest explosion ever seen in space

  1. Jan 6, 2005 #1


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    Hot off the press:

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2005 #2
    Wow, Paul Nulsen is one of my PhD supervisors! Go the Aussies!

    These results may also help to solve the cooling flow model problems in clusters of galaxies.
  4. Jan 6, 2005 #3


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    Congratulations to him on the discovery. and to Brian McNamara and the rest. it said the thing is written up in 6 january 2005 Nature, maybe we can find an online preprint

    I would be interested to learn what your research is about, matt.o, if you'd care to say.

    this news item presents an "optimality problem" in a curious way
    there seems to be a RIGHT AMOUNT of black hole to promote starformation

    BHs play an important role in the formation of galaxies (isnt that current thinking?) but this discovery illustrates that TOO MUCH BH interferes with star formation and causes large "bubbles" (on order of a million LY diameter) where no stars form because I guess the gas there is too hot to condense.

    I admit to idle speculation here and will hold off any further for the moment
  5. Jan 6, 2005 #4


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    The formation of galaxies, SMBH, even the first (few) generation(s) of stars are hot topics in astronomy. Unfortunately, the era at which this (first) took place is only barely accessible to current observational instruments and techniques, so one is always left with the nagging doubt about what the few observations of these distant (or old) objects actually tell us; for example, selection effects are particularly difficult to characterise.

    (note that MS 0735.6+7421 - at ~3 billion ly - is neither distant nor old, wrt the 'first formation' era).

    I'll leave others to comment on the current theoretical thinking.
  6. Jan 6, 2005 #5


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    100 millions years of eruption. Wow, thats pretty amazing.
  7. Jan 6, 2005 #6

    I have the article from nature, will link here soon.

    For some idle speculation, lets go-ogle at these:https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=39328

    A number of posts here:Number six!..: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=140213#post140213

    and of course under an 'alias' poster here:https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=24178

    Unlucky for some #13:https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=35367&page=1&pp=15

    The list goes on!!..the outcome if proven will be far reaching.

    I admit to speculate.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2005
  8. Jan 6, 2005 #7
    Here are some excellent images and animations of MS 0735. To get some idea of how big these cavities are, there’s a comparison to the cavities in the Perseus cluster which is only 250 million light years away.
  9. Jan 6, 2005 #8
    here is the arxiv preprint link for the nature paper:



    my PhD involves studying merging clusters of galaxies in multiple wavelenghts, cold fronts within clusters of galaxies, evolution of galaxies in a clustered environment and probably some modelling of merging clusters (eventually). At the moment I am using 2dfgrs data to study the environments of starburst galaxies.

    the general consensus was that in relaxed clusters a cooling flow develops. this causes gas to cool and flow to the centre of the cluster. it was thought that this gas would flow to the bottom of the potential well (the cD galaxy at the centre) and condense enough such that star formation could take place. The problem was, there was never enough cool gas observed in these cD's compared to what the cooling flow models predicted. So these jets serve to heat up the gas that permeates the central parts of the cluster and stops the cooling flow for a period of time. This means there will be less gas than expected cooling out of the x-ray temp range. So this means we will see less cool gas than predited from cooling flow models, hence less star formation in the cD than expected.

    you are right, the x-ray emitting gas is too hot to condense and form stars, but is also far from dense enough. the densest parts of the intra cluster medium are less dense than any vacuum we can create on earth!


    100 million years is but a blink of an eye to these monsters. processes in clusters generally take billions of years to complete!

  10. Jan 27, 2005 #9
    Brian McNamara is my advisor here at OU...he's actually teaching my Astro class right now. I got to see him present the finding at the AAS conference a few weeks back. THAT was a cool trip.
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