Starburst Galaxy (Encyclopedia of Science)
Starburst galaxies are galaxies that are in the process of creating massive formations of stars. This type of galaxy emits large amounts of infrared light created by the explosions that happen during the formation of stars. Starburst galaxies were first identified by this incredible amount of infrared light. Infrared light is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths slightly longer than optical light that takes the form of heat.
Development of starburst galaxies
Astronomers are still searching for why starburst galaxies form. Currently, the most widely accepted theory is a collision or a close encounter
with another galaxy that starts a chain reaction. The impact of such a collision produces shock waves throughout the galaxy that push on vast clouds of interstellar dust and gas that are present. These shock waves in turn cause the clouds to collapse and produce short-lived, massive stars. The stars that form from this collision quickly use up their nuclear fuel and explode in a supernova (an extremely bright...
(The entire section is 702 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!