Like Milk or Honey? Scientists Investigate the State of Hot Gas in Galaxy Clusters

Space.com | 7/5/2019 | Passant Rabie
rubydrummer (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/G9tikT7oywMFzTnhe8Vr2B-1200-80.jpg

A group of scientists set out to learn whether hot gas in galaxy clusters is as thick as honey sliding off a spoon or as smooth as milk being stirred in a coffee cup.

The result is a recent study that looked at how hot gas found in the Coma galaxy cluster behaves by using two weeks of observations from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The researchers observed that despite being abundant in the galaxy cluster, the hot gas had low viscosity (so more like milk).

Finding - Gas - Viscosity - Coma - Irina

"Our finding suggests that gas viscosity in Coma is much lower than expected," Irina Zhuravleva, a researcher at the University of Chicago and lead author of the study, said in the statement.

The scientists suspect that the reason for the low viscosity of the hot gas could be small-scale irregularities in the cluster's magnetic field. Those irregularities reduce the distance the gas particles can travel freely and therefore has an effect on the viscosity of the gas, according to the statement.

Galaxy - Clusters - Components - Galaxies - Matter

Galaxy clusters have three main components — individual galaxies, dark matter and gas that measures in the millions of degrees in Fahrenheit or Celsius. It's that third component that the scientists focused on in the new research.

The gas...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Space.com
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