From Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía IAA CSIC via Manu at IAC: “Gas flow generated by supernova explosions”

Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, IAA-CSIC

Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

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May 15, 2018

Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC)
Dissemination and Communication Unit
Silbia Lopez de Lacalle – – 958230532

Detected in the galaxy Arp 299-A, a giant gas flow generated by numerous supernova explosions.
Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA) -ESA / Hubble Collaboration and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville / NRAO / Stony Brook University)

NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

NRAO/Karl V Jansky VLA, on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, NM, USA, at an elevation of 6970 ft (2124 m)

Galaxy Arp 299-A , which is in the process of merging with another galaxy ( Arp299-B ), known for its intense starbursts and its high production rate of supernovas. New Radio observations have revealed a filamentous structure emanating from the core, which is interpreted as a stream of high velocity gas.

An international group of astronomers, led by the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) has detected thanks observations network of radio telescopes LOFAR, a huge flow of material emerging from the central regions of Arp 299-A , one galaxy fusion process.

ASTRON LOFAR Radio Antenna Bank, Nethrlands


“At the IAA I have spent years researching this galaxy, due to interaction with the companion galaxy is causing outbreaks of star formation,” says Naim Ramírez-Olivencia, a researcher at the IAA who led the study. It is therefore a very interesting environment because it allows us to study almost in real time how stars are born, they die and interact with the surrounding environment. ”

In fact, one of the most interesting features of this galaxy is precisely its high rate of production of supernovas, resulting in the death of stars with more than eight times the mass of the Sun: if in a galaxy like the Milky Way is expected a supernova every fifty years, it is estimated that Arp 299-a occurs about one per year.

On the left image of the gas flow emerging from the central regions of Arp 299-A. Superimposed on the right graph indicates the position and orientation of the disk of the galaxy.

However, the discovery of a material flow of enormous dimensions, which extends over nine thousand light years and releases a minimum of ten solar masses per year at a rate of between 370 and 890 kilometers per second, has been a surprise .

The researchers worked with two possible mechanisms that could trigger a similar flow: the supermassive black hole at the core of the galaxy, which generates energy accumulating material in a disk around it, or the activity generated by the stars, especially supernova explosions.

The calculations suggest this second mechanism, since activity totaling supernovae is a power ten times greater than that generated by the system consisting of the central supermassive black hole and its accretion disk, whose orientation does not fit with that observed in the material flow.

“This is the first work led by Spanish researchers with the network of radio telescopes LOFAR, and is an achievement for the instrument as it is presented as a tool to study such structures, very difficult to observe in other wavelengths,” he concludes Nain Ramirez-Olivencia (IAA-CSIC).

Ramirez-Olivencia N. et al. “Sub-arcsecond imaging of Arp 299-A at 150 MHz With LOFAR: Evidence for a starburst-driven outflow“. Astronomy & Astrophysics

See the full article here .

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Welcome to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA). The IAA is an institute of Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) in Granada – Andalucía. The activities of the IAA (CSIC) are related to research in the field of Astrophysics and the development of instruments for telescopes and space vehicles.

These webpages are intended to present our activities as well as useful information both for other professional institutions devoted to astrophysics research as well as for those interested in learning something more about the IAA and astrophysics in general.

From the front page on, an explanation is provided of the structure and organization of the IAA, followed by general information concerning our technological and scientific research in addition to all the activities we consider of general interest.

The pages of each department provide basic information: the staff, research lines, projects under way and research results. The navigator will also find more specific and varied information on each of the individual pages of the IAA staff.

The IAA has as its general scientific objective to help increase the bulk of knowledge about our universe, from the closest at hand, our solar system, to an overall scale of the entire universe, improving descriptions and analysing the physical processes that take place there. The nature of this aim demands a multi-disciplinary approach, requiring a combination of theory, observation and technology in different areas of physics and engineering. Although the IAA is a centre for pursuing basic science, we are aware of the role that astrophysics plays as a user and producer of new technologies.

To achieve our overarching objective, different scientific programmes are being undertaken with specific aims and timetables, encompassing four large areas of astrophysics: the solar system; star formation, structure and evolution; galaxy structure and evolution; and cosmology. Basic science has been and continues to be the motor for training scientific and technical staff, as well as for stimulating the development of other disciplines. The history of the IAA clearly depicts the observational function of the centre.

The telescopes installed in the Observatorio de Sierra Nevada (OSN), reflect a scientific policy with the clear objective of ensuring continued access to observational means to undertake far-reaching scientific projects. This fact adds singularity to the centre and at the same time offers the challenge and incentive for research at the IAA. The design and construction of instruments for the OSN, as well as others to be carried in special space vehicles, not only serve as support for basic research by the different teams of the IAA, but also represent activity of prime importance for the appropriate combination of research and development.

The Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (Spanish: Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, IAA-CSIC) is a research institute funded by the High Council of Scientific Research of the Spanish government Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), and is located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. IAA activities are related to research in the field of astrophysics, and instrument development both for ground-based telescopes and for space missions. Scientific research at the Institute covers the solar system, star formation, stellar structure and evolution, galaxy formation and evolution and cosmology. The IAA was created as a CSIC research institute in July 1975. Presently, the IAA operates the Sierra Nevada Observatory, and (jointly with the also the Max-Planck Institute of Heidelberg) the Calar Alto Observatory.

The Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía is divided in the following departments, each with an (incomplete) outline of research avenues and groups:

Department of Extragalactic Astronomy
Violent Stellar Formation Group
AMIGA Group (Analysis of the interstellar Medium of Isolated Galaxies)
Department of Stellar Physics
Department of Radio Astronomy and Galactic Structure
Stellar Systems Group
Department of Solar System

The technological needs of IAA’s research groups are fulfilled by the Instrumental and Technological Developments Unit

Calar Alto 3.5 meter Telescope, located in Almería province in Spain on Calar Alto, a 2,168-meter-high (7,113 ft) mountain in Sierra de Los Filabres