We Are “Extragalactic Immigrants” from Faraway Galaxies, Discover Astrophysicists
Northwestern University researchers discover the unexpected origins of half the atoms in our bodies.
Not only are we made of stardust, but we may come from a galaxy far, far away. Astrophysicists discovered that up to half of the matter in our Milky Way galaxy comes from other, distant galaxies.
The scientists used supercomputer simulations to make the surprising discovery that galaxies get matter through intergalactic transfer. Supernova explosions within one galaxy eject so much gas that it gets picked up by galactic winds that transport it to other galaxies. That way atoms get moved from one part of the cosmos to another.
“Given how much of the matter out of which we formed may have come from other galaxies, we could consider ourselves space travelers or extragalactic immigrants,” said Daniel Anglés-Alcázar, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern who led the study.
He added that it’s likely a large amount of the matter in the Milky Way came from other galaxies after it got “kicked out by a powerful wind, traveled across intergalactic space and eventually found its new home in the Milky Way.”
This would have taken several billion years to accomplish, even if galactic winds can move at several hundred kilometers per second.
Check out this animation illustrating the intergalactic transfer of gas:
Anglés-Alcázar developed advanced algorithms that mined the data generated by researchers from the FIRE (“Feedback in Realistic Environments”) project, led by Northwestern professor Claude-André Faucher-Giguère. The FIRE team created numerical simulations that resulted in realistic 3-D models of galaxies, from the Big Bang to the present. The algorithm by Anglés-Alcázar was able to quantify how the matter was transferred between the galaxies.
“This study transforms our understanding of how galaxies formed from the Big Bang,” explained Faucher-Giguère, a co-author of the study. “What this new mode implies is that up to one-half of the atoms around us — including in the solar system, on Earth and in each one of us — comes not from our own galaxy but from other galaxies, up to one million light years away.”
The team was able to track how gas from smaller galaxies ends up in the larger ones, like our Milky Way, where the gas forms stars.
“Our origins are much less local than we previously thought,” pointed out Faucher-Giguère. “This study gives us a sense of how things around us are connected to distant objects in the sky.”
The findings provide unique insights into how galaxies grow. The scientists plan to test their results by collaborating with observational astronomers working on the Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based observatories.
Check out the study “The Cosmic Baryon Cycle and Galaxy Mass Assembly in the FIRE Simulations” here. It is published by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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According to TwoFold CEO Alison McMahon, a leader who doesn't care (or can't pretend to care) about his or her employees isn't much of a leader at all.
Why do people quit their jobs? Surely, there are a ton of factors: money, hours, location, lack of interest, etc. For Alison McMahon, an HR specialist and the CEO of TwoFold, the biggest reason employees jump ship is that they're tired of working for lousy bosses.
By and large, she says, people are willing to put up with certain negatives as long as they enjoy who they're working for. When that's just not the case, there's no reason to stick around:
Nine times out of ten, when an employee says they're leaving for more money, it's simply not true. It's just too uncomfortable to tell the truth.
Whether that's true is certainly debatable, though it's not a stretch to say that an inconsiderate and/or incompetent boss isn't much of a leader. If you run an organization or company, your values and actions need to guide and inspire your team. When you fail to do that, you set the table for poor productivity and turnover.
McMahon offers a few suggestions for those who want to hone their leadership abilities, though it seems that these things are more innate qualities than acquired skills. For example, actually caring about your workers or not depending wholly on HR thinking they can do your job for you.
It's the nature of promotions that, inevitably, a good employee without leadership skills will get thrust into a supervisory position. McMahon says this is a chronic problem that many organizations need to avoid, or at least make the time to properly evaluate and assist with the transition.
But since they often don't, they end up with uninspired workers. And uninspired workers who don't have a reason to stay won't stick around for long.
Read more at LinkedIn.
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