Great Blobs

26 May 2013

At ... Blobs in the Universe - discovered a few years ago, are fuzzy galactic holes thought to consist of hot hydrogen gas. Asatronomers can see the blobs glowing they don't know what provides the energy to light them up. They do have a stab at an explanation - precursor of galaxies. One blob of has, known as Himiku after a legendary Japanese queen, stretches 55 thousand light years and the length is comparable to the radius of the disc of the Milky Way. These can be really big things but according to the model of the Big Bang cosmology small objects form initially - but this blob, is very old it is thought, going almost as far back as the big bang itself - but it ain't small. It seems to flout a basic tenet of the consensus model and astronomers have expressed puzzlement. The blob appears to be ionised gas powered by a super massive black hole - but that is only what their models spew out.

See also ... where the story also involves cold gas, food for stars, and how it spirals into the cores of galaxies along filaments. The gas is converted into new stars and the galaxies build up - feeding on the cold gas. This munching stuff seems to be endemic at some universities - perhaps they are missing their Macdonalds (sacrificed on the altar of environmental righteousness). I don't know but feeding antics seem to crop up in a lot of cosmological stories, from hungry black holes to gas guzzling galaxies. In the early universe, it is thought, galaxies formed out of matter connected by filaments in a great cosmic web. Within the galaxies cold gas condensed, ample enought to trigger star formation. This is a complete about face, a U turn of epic proportions. Previously it was thought it involved hot gas in what was a very slow process. Computer simulation is involved - and now cold gas can do what hot gas could barely do a few months ago. Amazing.