An international team led by a researcher from Hiroshima University has succeeded in revealing the detailed structure of a massive ionised gas outflow streaming from the starburst galaxy NGC 6240, 350 million light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. The team used the Suprime-Cam mounted on the 8.2-metre Subaru Telescope on Maunakea in Hawaii.
Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have found that Markarian 231, the nearest galaxy to Earth that hosts a quasar, is powered by two central black holes. The finding suggests that quasars — the brilliant cores of active galaxies — may commonly host two central supermassive black holes that fall into orbit about one another as a result of galactic mergers.
Starburst galaxies transmute gas into new stars up to 1,000 times faster than typical spiral galaxies like the Milky Way. To try and understand why, an international team of astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimetre Array (ALMA) to dissect a cluster of star-forming clouds at the heart of NGC 253 — one of the nearest starburst galaxies.