Chandra observations of the Perseus and Virgo galaxy clusters suggest turbulence may be preventing hot gas from cooling.
CXC/Stanford/NASA
By Adam Glanzman
October 27, 2014

It seems that the stars have aligned in the world of astronomy.

In a new study, researchers found that galactic turbulence may prevent the formation of new stars in outer galaxy clusters, which are the largest objects in the universe held together by gravity, existing at temperatures upwards of a million degrees.

Scientists have long wondered why these massive clusters have not begun to cool and form stars.

“We knew that somehow the gas in clusters is being heated to prevent it cooling and forming stars. The question was exactly how,” said lead researcher Irina Zhuravleva, of Stanford University.

According to Zhuravleva, the heat is being “channeled” through turbulence within the cluster. This movement is what maintains the cluster’s high temperature, preventing star formation.

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