[Epoch Times, July 16, 2021](Epoch Times reporter Di Rui compiled a report) Astronomers recently discovered for the first time a huge cloud of gas floating solitary in the empty space between galaxies. The Milky Way is still large, and it is thought that it is a mass of matter dropped by a certain galaxy during its high-speed motion.
A study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in June this year reported the discovery. This huge gas cluster is located in the Leo Cluster (code-named Abell 1367) approximately 300 million light-years away from Earth.
There are at least 72 major galaxies in this cluster. Astronomers are curious as to why this mass of gas “falls out” from its host galaxy, and even more strangely, why it has been floating in an empty space for hundreds of millions of years without dispersing.
One of the researchers, Ming Sun, a physicist at the University of Alabama–Huntsville (UAH), said: “This is an exciting and unexpected discovery that shows The oldest natural science, astronomy, always has new surprises.”
The researchers found some clues from the temperature of this gas cloud. The temperature in this gas is between 10,000 and 10,000,000 Kelvin, which is the normal temperature of the interstellar medium. The interstellar medium is the material between stars and stars. The medium between galaxies and galaxies-the temperature of the intergalactic medium is even higher, about 100 million Kelvin.
From this, the researchers speculated that the gas was originally the interstellar medium in a galaxy. During the high-speed movement of the galaxy, the gas fell out of the galaxy, and then it has been floating between the galaxy and the galaxy as high temperature Environment.
Sun Ming said: “When its host galaxy was moving at 1,000 to 2,000 kilometers per hour, the gas fell out under the influence of the ram pressure within the cluster.”
Impulse force is a physics term. Sun Ming explained: “It’s like when you run against a strong wind, your hair and clothes fly backwards. Once it falls out of its host galaxy, it starts to be cold and becomes ) The intergalactic medium begins to evaporate, just like ice cubes begin to melt in the summer.”
Research and analysis believe that there are no galaxies nearby, indicating that it did not fall from any galaxy recently, and it has probably been floating in the intergalactic medium for at least hundreds of millions of years.
Scientists are curious why in such a long time, this group of gas will not spread out and evenly distribute in the space between galaxies, but it can stay together all the time? The researchers’ calculations speculate that a magnetic field is gathering the gas together.
Now that the first such solitary gas cloud has been discovered, scientists believe that based on this set of survey data, other gas clouds of the same kind will be discovered. These gas clouds will provide more information about the environment of the intergalactic medium. More importantly, this discovery made it known for the first time that the intergalactic medium has the ability to strip gas from galaxies. ◇
Editor in charge: Zhu Hanru