Galactic star ‘baby boom’ ended five billion years ago

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Posted on January 17, 2014
Galactic star 'baby boom' ended five billion years ago

An artist’s impression of the European Space Agency Herschel telescope. Credit: ESA
Luminous galaxies far brighter than our Sun constantly collide to create new stars, but Oxford University research has now shown that star formation across the Universe dropped dramatically in the last five billion years.

The research, co-led at Oxford by Dr Dimitra Rigopoulou and Dr Georgios Magdis from the Department of Physics, showed that the rate of star formation in the Universe is around 100 times lower than it was five billion years ago. They also showed that some luminous galaxies could create stars on their own without colliding into other galaxies.

The findings, published in the Astrophysical Journal, suggest that most of the stars in our universe were born in a ‘baby boom’ period five to ten billion years ago. The observations were made using the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory.

I asked lead author Dr Rigopoulou to explain the research and what it tells us about the birth of stars.

Read more at: Phys.org