First confirmation of a galactic corona around the Magellanic Cloud

The existence of a ‘Galactic Corona’ that prevents gas leakage from the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds has been confirmed through observational information from instruments such as the Hubble Space Telescope.

A research team at the University of Colorado in the United States announced on its official website that it has detected a wide range of galactic corona around the Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, by analyzing observation data through the Hubble Space Telescope, etc.

The galactic corona is a layer of high temperature ionized gas that forms the outermost halo of a galaxy. The research team concluded that the galactic corona identified this time acts as a type of shield that prevents the loss of gas necessary for star formation from the Magellanic Cloud.

The Magellanic Cloud is known for its active star-forming activity. A typical example is the Tarantula Nebula (30 Doradus) on the side of the Large Magellanic Cloud. In the center of the nebula, there are believed to be several massive objects with masses 150 times the mass of the Sun.

Galactic corona (pink) around the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Its existence was confirmed by analyzing the ultraviolet rays that reached Earth as they passed through the galactic corona from the quasars behind them.

An official from the research team said, “Stars are formed from gas and dust, but when gas in the galaxy is lost through interactions, the star formation activity is also affected.” “The mystery of star formation in galaxies could be solved. “

The Magellanic Cloud, whose gas outflow and star formation activity are compatible, is the subject of study by many astronomers. Some scholars have predicted the possibility of the existence of a galactic corona that blocks the outflow of gas from the galaxy that produces stars. The galactic corona is believed to be the remnants of the gas cloud that collapsed billions of years ago to form galaxies.

The problem is that the Galactic Corona is too dark. Viewed from Earth, 100,000 light-years away from the Magellanic Cloud, it is so diffuse that it covers most of the southern night sky, but cannot be detected with the naked eye. naked or with any observation equipment.

Therefore, the research team focused on a quasar (a supermassive black hole that emits very bright light) across the galactic corona. Although the galactic corona itself is invisible, the research team thought it could be explained as some kind of fog-like entity that blocks or absorbs some of the light emitted by the quasar.

The Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud. This image is the result of random coloring taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.

The research team analyzed ultraviolet rays emitted from 28 quasars based on observational data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) operated by NASA between 1999 and 2007. As a result, the hot gas regions around the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.

An investigating officer said, “The gas is actively expanding, but the amount is gradually decreasing as it moves away from the center of the Large Magellanic Cloud.

He continued, “As a result of the analysis of the ultraviolet spectrum, compounds of the Magellanic Cloud halo, such as carbon, oxygen, and silicon, were found in the Galactic Corona. Bands of neutral hydrogen gas appear) and gases from our Milky Way mixed in as well,” he added.

Reporter Jeong Ian [email protected]

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