cooling flow

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A mechanism thought to occur in clusters of galaxies in which hot gas, lost by the galaxies through supernova explosions and stellar winds, cools by emitting X-rays and sinks on to a massive elliptical galaxy at or near the cluster's centre. As the gas cools it may form into low-mass stars, enhancing the mass of the giant elliptical.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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