Cosmic rays are “tearing” the Big Magellanic Galaxy

Beijing time on February 21, according tomedia reports, cosmic rays refer to the extremely intense cosmic events accelerated to near the speed of light of micro-charged particles. These rays are not particularly scary in themselves, but if they are large enough, they pose a threat to the entire galaxy. A team of researchers recently released simulations of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the closest galaxies to the Milky Way. Pictured is a photograph of the Large Magellanic Cloud taken by the VISTA telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

Simulations have found that cosmic rays from the starstorm event are disintegrating the galaxy. Fortunately, for now, the real Magellanic Cloud is still intact.

Two Nebula

The Milky Way has dozens of smaller satellite galaxies, the largest of which are the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Magellanic Cloud. They were named by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Although stargazers in the southern hemisphere had known the two galaxies for thousands of years, it was not until after Magellan’s famous voyage around the world that Europeans learned of their existence through the detailed records he had made, so they were named after Magellan.

Although the Large Magellanic Cloud may seem large in the night sky, 20 times the diameter of the moon, it is 160,000 light-years away. It is about 10 billion times the mass of the sun and about 14,000 light-years in diameter, making it the fourth largest galaxy in the local constellation. The Large Magellanic Cloud is currently orbiting the Milky Way with the Magellanic Cloud and is getting closer to the Milky Way. In another 2.5 billion years or so, the Big Magellanic Cloud will collide with the Milky Way and stage a spectacular “fireworks show.”

But until then, some explosive starformation will occur in the Great Magellanic Cloud. In addition to orbiting the Milky Way, the Large Magellanic Cloud also moves around the Magellanic Cloud, in which gravitational forces stimulate a round after round of dense star formation that briefly illuminates the entire Magellanic Cloud galaxy.

Gas heated by cosmic rays

This intense star formation occurs every few hundred million years. As long as there are new stars forming, there must be some supermassive stars. The life of these stars is so short that they burn up their internal nuclear fuel in just a few million years and eventually disintegrate in the form of supernova eruptions. This is the most powerful and powerful event known in the universe.

One of the by-products of this intense cosmic event is cosmic rays. They continue to travel around the universe, leaping billions of light-years away, bringing destruction to wherever they go.

The simulations suggest that cosmic rays from past intense star formation are “trying” to destroy the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The main problem with cosmic rays is their enormous kinetic energy. Although the particles that make up cosmic rays are small, they are extremely fast and therefore have surprisingly high kinetic energy. These rays hit any cloud of gas in the Large Magellanic Cloud, hitting the molecules in the gas cloud one by one, surging the temperature of the gas while releasing some of the kinetic energy.

When the gas is so hot, the gravitational pull of the Large Magellanic Cloud is not enough to leave it in the galaxy, so the hot gas escapes.

Magellan Star Stream

However, the process does not happen so quickly. The researchers analyzed their simulations to see how quickly and far the hot gas escaped from the Big Magellanic Cloud. To this end, they focused on the performance of the Magellan Star Stream in the simulation. The Magellan Star Stream is a stream of material spewed from the Magellan cloud hundreds of millions of years ago, a hot, thin gas that surrounds almost the entire Milky Way galaxy. The researchers were surprised to find that while cosmic rays significantly warmed up the gases in the Large Magellanic Cloud, they remained inside the galaxy and did not escape.

The reason for this contradiction is the direction of the Large Magellanic Cloud as it approaches the Milky Way. For billions of years, it has been moving straight toward the Milky Way, unobstructed. As a result, as the Large Magellanic Cloud moves through the thin gas around the Milky Way, the pressure of these gases acts like a lid, blocking the leakage of matter from the Magellanic Cloud.

Thus, although there is a large amount of gas in the Great Magellan Cloud trying to escape, it is not possible to escape for these reasons. That’s at least for now. But sooner or later, the pressure difference will dissipate, and the hot gas in the Great Magellanic Cloud will be able to successfully leak out and join the Magellan stream that follows the back of the galaxy.

As for the reasons for this stream, the researchers speculate that it may be mainly caused by the gravitational pull between the large wheat celenceo cloud, which has less to do with cosmic rays.

But one thing is certain: for the Big Magellanic Cloud, the next few billion years will be pretty interesting.