Astronomers discovered a lonely galaxy that ate all its buddies

Astronomers have found a lonely galaxy close to a supermassive black gap. The galaxy is called 3C 297 and is believed to have as soon as been a part of a galactic cluster within the space. Now, the galaxy floats in an empty area of area, alone, roughly 9.2 billion light-years from Earth.

The galaxy was lately noticed utilizing NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory, revealing key traits most frequently seen in clusters. As famous above, astronomers consider the galaxy was as soon as a part of a cluster. Nonetheless, the opposite galaxies are actually lacking.

The idea is that this lonely galaxy merged with the others, creating what we now see as 3C 297. It’s additionally believed that 3C 297 was the biggest galaxy inside the cluster and thus had probably the most gravitational pull out of these inside it.

Astronomers name galaxies like 3C 297 fossil group. It’s additionally probably the most distant fossil group we’ve got found to date. One other clue that 3C 297 may need been a part of a cluster earlier than is the quasar lively on the heart of the galaxy’s heart.

The jets from the quasar discovered inside the lonely galaxy counsel that it has interacted with massive shops of gasoline inside 3C 297, which may very well be a sign of a cluster as soon as current right here. After all, wanting on the picture above, the galaxy doesn’t look that alone. Nonetheless, astronomers say not one of the galaxies seen round it are shut sufficient for a cluster.

However there are extra important questions revolving round 3C 297 than simply whether or not or not a cluster existed right here. As an example, we’re seeing the galaxy because it was over 9 billion years in the past. This implies this galaxy cluster merged and have become a fossil group a lot faster than astronomers believed potential.

Thus, the existence of this lonely galaxy defies what we find out about galaxy mergers and fossil teams as an entire. Maybe future observations of comparable areas in area might inform us extra. For now, we’ll want to attend and see what future area missions just like the ESA’s upcoming Juice mission educate us.