Astrophysicists at the University of Kansas have spotted an incredibly rare type of galaxy for the first time, fundamentally changing our understanding of how galaxies die.
At the 234th meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Thursday, Allison Kirkpatrick presented her discovery of "cold quasars", incredibly bright, dying galaxies in the farthest reaches of the cosmos.
Quasars are basically mammoth supermassive black holes surrounded by huge amounts of gas and dust, making them super bright -- much brighter than a typical galaxy.
For instance, our galaxy, the Milky Way, is on a collision course with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy.
This event, which will occur billions of years from now, will signal the end of the two galaxies and the creation of a quasar.
Eventually, the gas and dust will start falling into the center of the quasar and be blown out into space.