Scientists find elusive gas hiding in plain sight
Scientists discover that post-starburst galaxies condense their gas rather than expelling it, begging the question: what’s keeping them from forming stars? Post-starburst galaxies were previously thought to scatter all of their gas and dust—the fuel required for creating new stars—in violent energy bursts and at extraordinary speed. New data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) reveals that these galaxies don’t scatter all of their star-forming fuel. Instead, these dormant galaxies hold onto and compress large amounts of highly-concentrated, turbulent gas after their supposed end. But contrary to expectation, they’re not using it to form stars.