Starburst Galaxy Fact And Info

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A starburst galaxy is a galaxy undergoing an exceptionally high rate of star formation, as compared to the long-term average rate of star formation in the galaxy or the star formation rate observed in most other galaxies. In a starburst galaxy, the rate of star formation is so large that the galaxy will consume all of its gas reservoir, from which the stars are forming, on a timescale much shorter than the age of the galaxy. 

As such, the starburst nature of a galaxy is a phase, and one that typically occupies a brief period of a galaxy's evolution. The majority of starburst galaxies are in the midst of a merger or close encounter with another galaxy. Starburst galaxies include M82, NGC 4038/NGC 4039 (the Antennae Galaxies), and IC 10.

Light and dust in a nearby starburst galaxy

Starburst galaxies are defined by these three interrelated factors:

1-     The rate at which the galaxy is currently converting gas into stars (the star-formation rate, or SFR).
2-   The available quantity of gas from which stars can be formed.
3-   A comparison of the timescale on which star formation will consume the available gas with the age or rotation period of the galaxy.
Commonly used definitions include:

·        Continued star-formation where the current SFR would exhaust the available gas reservoir in much less than the age of the Universe (the Hubble Time).
·        Continued star-formation where the current SFR would exhaust the available gas reservoir in much less than the dynamical timescale of the galaxy (perhaps one rotation period in a disk type galaxy).
·         The current SFR, normalized by the past-averaged SFR, is much greater than unity. This ratio is referred to as the "birthrate parameter".
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Starburst Galaxy

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