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Does an arrested galaxy violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

closeup of blurry galaxy with defined center
Hubble Space Telescope image of galaxy NGC 1277/NASA, ESA, and M. Beasley

“…stuck in an unproductive state of arrested development…” From Tim Collins at the Daily Mail:

A rare galaxy stuck in a state of arrested development is providing scientists with a unique window into the early days of the universe.

The unusual cosmic region has remained frozen for the past 10 billion years, producing no new stars in all of that time.

Only one in a thousand galaxies is thought to be like NGC 1277, which comprises approximately a trillion stars in the central zone of the Perseus Cluster, started out very active but then just stopped.

From astronomer Michael Beasley,

‘I’ve been studying globular clusters in galaxies for a long time, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen this.’ More.

From Elizabeth Howell at Space.com :

The odd galaxy, called NGC 1277, doesn’t appear to have evolved much in the past 10 billion years, a new study reports. Learning about its history should shed light on galaxy formation and evolution in general, study team members said.

NGC 1277, which is located about 240 million light-years away from Earth, is called a “red and dead” galaxy because it doesn’t have enough fuel to produce new stars. That wasn’t always the case, however. Shortly after the galaxy was formed, it produced stars 1,000 times faster than they are formed today in our Milky Way, the researchers said. More.

Well, if we are talking about evolution, we can say that this galaxy is an example of stasis: Things go on indefinitely but nothing much happens.

Hat tip: Ken Francis, who posed the question in the title.

See also: Researchers: Fifth state of matter may defy 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Stasis: Life goes on but evolution does not happen


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