Hi all. I’m at the IRAM 30m telescope for the third time this year this time measuring the CO content in elliptical galaxies. This follows on from Kevin’s long-standing work of using blue elliptical galaxies to test whether or not AGN (Active Galactic Nuclei) are responsible for dispelling gas and thus putting an end to star formation. Theoretical models suggest that this must be the case and this ongoing project to measure exactly how much CO gas is in such galaxies is aiming to verify this. This is accomplished by measuring how much CO is in elliptical galaxies that show no signs of AGN activity and similar galaxies which do have signs of AGN activity. The theory is that, those galaxies with AGN activity will show low quantities of gas relative to their size.
The weather has been very good so far and we are on schedule here to get measurements for all 30 galaxies we asked for despite only being allocated about 3/4 the requested time! With so many measurements, we should hopefully get the statistical significance we need to confirm the theory.