(ANSA) — Bologna, Dec. 13 — The mysterious phase of the universe, the halting ability to form new stars during the evolution of massive galaxies, is at the center of observations by the James Webb Space Telescope, in research associated with Project Erc. Dubbed the Red Cardinal, the project is led by Sirio Pelli, a researcher in the Augusto Reggi Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Bologna.
It was funded with €1.3 million by the European Research Council (ERC), the European Union body that rewards talented scientists involved in frontier research activities.
“The process of forming massive galaxies and shutting down their star formation activity are phases in the history of the universe that remain mysterious,” explains Bailey. “A related role could be attached to the energy released by AGNs, which are the supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, but it is not clear how this mechanism can actually stop the formation of new stars, or whether other physical processes, such as galaxy collisions, are involved.” Moreover, it is not yet clear whether this phenomenon of closing star formation occurs in the same way in all galaxies. The most recent studies on the subject indicate that there may be two physically different modes: a fast closing process and a slow closing process.
“By exploiting the observations that the revolutionary James Webb Space Telescope will obtain, we will be able to verify the solidity of this hypothesis, which predicts two different modes of star closure, and identify the physical processes responsible for this phenomenon,” says Belle. (Dealing).
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