A researcher from the American University of Sharjah is leading a study of the chemical structures of distant galaxies


Sharjah: “The Bay”

A joint study led by a researcher at the American University of Sharjah published the detailed chemical composition of three star clusters in the large Magellanic Cloud, which is a smaller companion galaxy to the Milky Way 160,000 light-years away, and which contributes to a broader and more comprehensive understanding of the history of the universe.

“Various chemical elements (such as iron, calcium, carbon and many more) are formed inside the centers of the stars by nuclear fusion,” said Dr. Randa Asaad, associate professor of physics, and the lead researcher who led the study. Since the stars that appear today have a different composition compared to the first generation after the Big Bang, they consist of a number of elements and they have a higher chemical abundance. Therefore, this study traces the history of chemical enrichment of various galaxies, which is one of the primary goals of astrophysics. In it, we used integrated light emission spectroscopy, which was obtained by installing the Grooved Magellan Spectrometer at the Magellan-Bad Observatory in Las Campanas, Chile. We were able to determine the chemical presence of the three star clusters in the large Magellanic cloud. We found that the chemical amounts we extracted from our observations and analyzes are consistent with the theoretical values ​​predicted by mathematical models. “

“This research is very interesting, but it is full of challenges,” she added. We had to use some of the largest observatories in the world to observe the high-resolution integrated emission spectra of star clusters to study the chemical abundance of star clusters in distant galaxies. The ability to use these observatories is very competitive due to their limited number and the large number of astronomers around the world who need to use them. Another challenge we faced was the need for a powerful computer facility to measure the amount of chemicals from the spectra we studied. The code used to obtain the abundance of a single element in a single star cluster took several months. Therefore, such computing capabilities are certainly not possible with a standard computer. “

The results of the study were published in the prestigious “Astrophysical” astronomical journal.