• UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Halftime stats for UCSB/Clemson (tied 1-1) Shots: 8/5 Shots on Goal: 3/4 Corners: 3/2 Fouls: 13/8 Yellow cards: 1/0
    47 min 36 sec ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Clemson equalizes late in the first half through an Aaron Jones strike. It's 1-1 heading into halftime.
    54 min 31 sec ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Gooooaaaaaal!!!! Seo-In Kim with the goal to put @UCSBMensSoccer up 1-0 with 6 left in opening half.
    1 hour 1 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    @UCSBMensSoccer Sam Strong in for Nick DePuy with 12 left in 1st half
    1 hour 6 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    30' - Long range effort from DePuy goes way wide. Both teams have a harder time creating chances.
    1 hour 11 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    24' - shot from the left side from Acheampong, save Tarbell
    1 hour 17 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    '21 - Kevin Feucht has a point blank look at net, but his redirection goes just over the crossbar.
    1 hour 20 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Big save from Vom Steeg, diving low to his left to stop a Tasner shot in the 20th min
    1 hour 21 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Ish Jome unleashes a 35 yd laser for UCSB's first shot on goal, requiring a save from Clemson keeper Andrew Tarbell. 25 mins left in the 1st
    1 hour 22 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Gauchos enjoying the run of play so far, but havent recorded a shot yet. 35 mins to go in the first.
    1 hour 31 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Yellow card for UCSB: Randy Mendoza in the 7th min.
    1 hour 33 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Justin Vom Steeg coming up big early for UCSB, making a pair of saves on T.J. Cashner (10 goals for Clemson). 38:00 left in the 1st half.
    1 hour 35 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Duncan Backus knocks home a Geoffrey Acheampong free kick from 30 yds out, but a late offside whistle negates an early goal for UCSB
    1 hour 37 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    And we're underway here in Clemson! Here's that @ESPN3 link one more time: https://t.co/R9FRG70Get
    1 hour 43 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    @UCSBMensSoccer about to take on #2 Clemson https://t.co/q5HJrSMQtM
    1 hour 45 min ago

Feeding Galaxy Caught in Distant Searchlight by International Research Team

Friday, July 5, 2013 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA


Artist’s impression of a galaxy accreting material from its surroundings.

Artist’s impression of a galaxy accreting material from its surroundings.

Photo Credit: 

Image courtesy European Southern Observatory

An international group of astronomers that includes UC Santa Barbara astrophysicist Crystal Martin and former UCSB postdoctoral researcher Nicolas Bouché has spotted a distant galaxy hungrily snacking on nearby gas. The gas is seen to fall inward toward the galaxy, creating a flow that both fuels star formation and drives the galaxy's rotation. This is the best direct observational evidence so far supporting the theory that galaxies pull in and devour nearby material in order to grow and form stars. The results will appear in the July 5 issue of the journal Science.

Spiral galaxies like our own Milky Way formed billions of years ago in the dark matter concentrations that began to grow shortly after the Big Bang. As gas cooled and condensed, stars formed, which, over time, synthesized heavy elements and polluted the galaxy with this enriched material upon their death.

But what that model has not been able to explain is the continuous formation of stars in some galaxies, despite the constant rate at which galaxies turn molecular gas into stars. The simplest model calls for a closed system and predicts star formation should have ceased long ago due to the limited gas supply.

"It's been a problem," said Martin. Galaxies should use up their gas on a time scale that's much shorter than what has been observed, she explained. In fact our own galaxy should have already run out of gas, but stars continue to form in it. "Galaxies must have a mechanism for acquiring more gas," she continued, adding that, historically, no means has existed to directly detect the inflow of the cold fuel.

Now, however, thanks to the background light from the quasar HE 2243-60, Martin and her colleagues have been able to observe distinct signatures near a typical star-forming galaxy that indicate the inflow of gas feeding the galaxy. In this scenario, gas is drawn into a galaxy and then circles around it, rotating with it before falling in. Although some evidence of such accretion had been observed in galaxies before, the motion of the gas and its other properties had not been fully explored until now.

The background quasar is, by chance, perfectly well positioned for this study. "This kind of alignment is very rare, but was critical for this study," explained first author

Bouché, who is now with the Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology in Toulouse, France.

The astronomers used two instruments known as SINFONI (Spectrograph for INtegral Field Observations in the Near Infrared) and UVES (Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph), both of which are mounted on European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. The new observations showed both how the galaxy itself was rotating and revealed the composition and motion of the gas outside the galaxy.

The result is the discovery of how an active star-forming galaxy feeds its prodigious growth, according to co-author Michael Murphy, from the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. "[We've] observed, as directly as possible, the feeding process for forming huge numbers of stars very quickly 11 billion years ago," he said. The observation also strengthens the argument that low-mass galaxies are formed through these cold streams, which also allow galaxies to prolong their star formation process.

"It is impressive to see in the data the telltale signatures of this infalling gas matching those expected in numerical simulations," said Bouché.

Other members of the research team include Glenn G. Kacprzak,

also of Swinburne University and an Australian Research Council Super Science Fellow; Céline Péroux of Aix Marseille University, France; Thierry Contini of University Paul Sabatier of Toulouse, France; and Miroslava Dessauges-Zavadsky of the Observatory of Geneva, Switzerland.

Crystal Martin
Astronomy and Astrophysics
European Southern Observatory


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