Newly Discovered: Green Bean Galaxies
Named for their size and bright color, these objects allow astronomers a new look into the lifespans of galaxies and the black holes at their centers.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Astronomer Mischa Schirmer was looking at images from the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope when he came across something very unusual in the constellation of Aquarius: a galaxy that was bright green in color. Further observations and recordings done with the Very Large and Gemini South telescopes confirmed the existence of 17 of these objects, which have been nicknamed "green bean" galaxies to distinguish them from similarly colored but smaller green pea galaxies. They "are so rare that there is on average only one in a cube about 1.3 billion light-years across." Schirmer's initial discovery, labeled J2240, is about 3.7 billion light-years away.
What's the Big Idea?
Unlike many galaxies, which have glowing centers that only occupy up to 10 percent of the total diameter, these galaxies' centers take up almost the entire diameter, making them so bright that they can be easily observed from Earth despite their distance. Such brightness would normally be associated with a still-active center black hole, but Schirmer's team discovered that in J2240's case it was not as active as they expected. They hope to study these objects further to gain more information about the different stages of galaxy evolution.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.