Scientists discover giant fiery doughnut-shaped galaxy

A team of scientists has discovered a galaxy tha...

Posted: May 25, 2020 10:49 AM

A team of scientists has discovered a galaxy that looks like a "cosmic ring of fire" and could help us understand more about how galactic structures form and evolve.

The incredibly rare kind of galaxy has a similar mass to our Milky Way but is shaped like a doughnut with a hole in the middle, according to a press release from the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D).

Astronomers from the institution managed to capture an image of the galaxy and can now reveal what it looked like 11 billion years ago.

"It is a very curious object that we've never seen before," said lead researcher Tiantian Yuan, from the center, in a statement. "It looks strange and familiar at the same time."

The galaxy, which has been named R5519, is 11 billion light-years from our Solar System.

The hole at its center has a diameter two billion times longer than the distance between Earth and the sun, according to the press release on Monday.

"It is making stars at a rate 50 times greater than the Milky Way," said Yuan. "Most of that activity is taking place on its ring -- so it truly is a ring of fire."

The discovery is described in full in the journal Nature Astronomy.

Yuan and a group of colleagues from around the world used spectroscopic data to identify the galaxy, and evidence suggests it may be the first "collisional ring galaxy" located in the early universe.

Collisional ring galaxies form after smashing into other galaxies.

The paper could help astronomers understand how our own Milky Way formed, said co-author Kenneth Freeman from the Australian National University.

For a collisional ring galaxy to form from the collision of two galaxies, a so-called "thin disk" of material must be present in one galaxy before the collision occurs, said Freeman.

Spiral galaxies like the Milky Way all have thin disks, and its disk only started forming around nine billion years ago, he said, but this collisional ring galaxy is some 11 billion years old.

"This discovery is an indication that disk assembly in spiral galaxies occurred over a more extended period than previously thought," said Freeman.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 574231

Reported Deaths: 10476
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2105434998
Riverside41983820
Orange40527726
San Bernardino36072546
San Diego32975594
Kern24440171
Fresno17846171
Alameda13631209
San Joaquin12864223
Santa Clara12694205
Sacramento12040177
Tulare10862196
Stanislaus10264169
Imperial9693244
Contra Costa9404139
Ventura863492
San Francisco762367
Santa Barbara670469
San Mateo6318120
Merced573670
Monterey544635
Marin540481
Kings445356
Solano427441
Sonoma367047
Madera246339
Placer231922
San Luis Obispo225416
Yolo183444
Santa Cruz12436
Butte12388
Napa107411
Sutter9527
San Benito7654
El Dorado7552
Lassen6830
Yuba6464
Mendocino47210
Shasta45910
Colusa3914
Glenn3603
Nevada3571
Humboldt2864
Tehama2761
Lake2402
Amador1822
Mono1581
Tuolumne1553
Calaveras1471
Inyo1063
Siskiyou1020
Del Norte1000
Mariposa622
Plumas360
Modoc50
Trinity50
Sierra40
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 84°
Oroville
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 83°
Paradise
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 84°
Chester
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 73°
Red Bluff
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 84°
Willows
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 84°
It wasn't as hot for northern California today, but temperatures still reached seasonable summer levels and more thunderstorms sprung over our eastern counties. After one more seasonable day, hotter weather will return to our area.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events