TNRTB Archive – Retained for reference information
Scientists have identified a peculiar galaxy that provides additional evidence of a galaxy’s environment and mass in order to form a life-support planetary system. Recent observations argue that over 90% of star formation in the dwarf galaxy Leo A occurred in the last 8 billion years, with very few stars being formed early on. Such a galaxy will not produce sufficient elements heavier than helium upon which a planetary system and life depend. Interestingly, Leo A contained sufficient gas to form stars but some process prevented the star formation from occurring until 8 billion years ago. These results affirm the importance of being in a galaxy with a fine-tuned mass and merger rate (like the Milky Way Galaxy) such that star formation begins early and continues until the present time.
- Andrew A. Cole et al., “Leo A: A Late-Blooming Survivor of the Epoch of Reionization in the Local Group,” Astrophysical Journal Letters 659 (2007): L17-L20.
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