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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Tezpur University Researcher Jointly Unveils Secret Of Dwarf Galaxy Formation

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HT Correspondent


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TEZPUR, July 29: Anshuman Borgohain, a research scholar at Tezpur University was part of an international  study that discovered that new stars are forming beyond the visible boundaries of a sample of distant Blue Compact Dwarf (BCD) galaxies situated about 1.5 – 3.9 billion light-years away from Earth.

The discovery was a joint outcome of a study by an international team of astronomers from India, the USA and France, conceived using the UltraViolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) on board AstroSat, India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory. Anshuman Borgohain was the lead author of a research article on the study that was published in renowned multidisciplinary science journal ‘Nature’ on July 20, 2022.

Anshuman is working under the joint supervision of Dr Rupjyoti Gogoi at Tezpur University and Prof. Kanak Saha at IUCAA.

Anshuman said, “It is still unclear how dwarf galaxies of the past have evolved into the ones in the present day. Hence, capturing their assembly process over the cosmic ages is considered as one of the important links to complete the picture of galaxy formation and evolution.”

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He also commended AstroSat/UVIT’s imaging capabilities saying, “It is opening up promising avenues in the field of extragalactic astronomy.”

Dr Rupjyoti Gogoi, co-author, Assistant Professor of Physics at Tezpur University and associate at IUCAA said, “The current work is an inspiration to young researchers of the country as this utilizes data from India’s indigenous satellite, AstroSat.”

Prof. Kanak Saha, co-author of the article and Professor of Astronomy at IUCAA, who conceived the study, emphasised that, “The resolving power of UVIT and UV deep field imaging techniques have indeed been the key to spotting these very young, faint and large star-forming clumps.”

He mentioned that it would not have been possible to detect these faraway clumps at slightly larger distances from us and that we do not have such an example in present day dwarf galaxies.

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Dr. Bruce Elmegreen, who contributed to the study, is a principal research staff in the IBM Research Division, USA. He said, “It has been a mystery how some small galaxies like these can have such active star formation.” He explained that these observations point to the funnelling of outer accreting gas further inwards due to gravitational forces exerted by massive outer clumps.


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