New Method For Finding Merging Galaxies, Revealed by Scientists

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Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder came up with a new method to help astronomers spot merging galaxies in the Universe. According to the scientists, the technique involves a computer program that scans the night sky in the search for galactic mergers signs such as the characteristic shape of the merging galaxies and the normal movement of the stars inside these mergers.

The team of scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder will present their method for finding merging galaxies in the Univers during the 233rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington.

Galaxy mergers are known as the phenomenon in which two or more galaxies collide and combine becoming one massive galaxy. Usually, colliding galaxies turn into galaxy mergers in a few billion years. However, even though they produce a bright explosion of light when they collide, merging galaxies are not easy to spot by the astronomers.

Scientists found a new method for finding merging galaxies in the Universe

Until this new study, there has been no method for spotting merging galaxies in the vast Universe we live in, so astronomers had to rely on their luck to identify colliding galaxies. Fortunately, Rebecca Nevin and her co-workers came up with a technique to help astronomers find merging galaxies.

Using a computer simulation, the researchers tried to establish all the ways two or more galaxies could ever merge. Then, the scientists programmed computer software to scan night skies and look for these telltale signs of merging galaxies. The computer program was able to spot galaxy mergers with an 80 percent accuracy.

“These simulated galaxy mergers allow us to follow billions of years of evolution directly, whereas observations of real galaxies are limited to single moments in time,” also said Laura Blecha, an assistant professor at the University of Florida.


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