Galaxies are often thought of as sparkling with stars, but they also contain gas and dust. Now, a team led by UCLA astronomers has used new data to show that stars are responsible for producing dust on galactic scales, a finding consistent with long-standing theory.
UCLA astronomers have made the first accurate measurement of the abundance of oxygen in a distant galaxy. Oxygen, the third-most abundant chemical element in the universe, is created inside stars and released into interstellar gas when stars die.
For years, astronomers have been puzzled by a bizarre object in the center of the Milky Way that was believed to be a hydrogen gas cloud headed toward our galaxy’s enormous black hole.