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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Super-Windstorms Can Strip Galaxies of Star Stuff

 Winds 10,000 times faster than an Earth hurricane’s have been seen streaming molecular gas – the raw material needed to make new stars – away from galaxies. These raging galactic windstorms may have the power to strip galaxies of gas and halt star formation altogether, European Space Agency researchers say.

The ESA’s Herschel infrared space observatory detected these extraordinary winds, the first time such molecular gas outflows have been observed in a sample of galaxies. The fastest is blowing at a speed of more than 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) per second. [Video: Galactic Storm Destroyer of Galaxies]

This discovery has important implications, as these outflows are robbing the galaxy of the raw material it needs to make new stars. [Top 10 Star Mysteries]

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