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Hubble's spiral galaxy is doomed, plunging into a comatose cluster (and also loses gas)



Hubble's spiral galaxy is doomed, plunging into a coma cluster (and losing gas, too)

The glowing red stream of hydrogen gas emanates from the spiral galaxy D100 when it falls to the center of a giant cluster of the Coma galaxy. Near the middle of the tail one can see luminous blue bunches of young stars, where there is still enough hydrogen gas to form stars.

Presented by: Hubble Image: NASA, ESA, M. Sun (University of Alabama) and V. Kramer and J. Kenney (Yale University); Subaru image: M. Yagi (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)

NASA Space Telescope. Hubble captured a stunning new view of the spiral galaxy, which wandered too close to the massive cluster of the Kom galaxy and was devoid of gas.

The spiral galaxy, called D100, is attracted by gravity to the dense center of the Coma Cluster, located about 330 million light-years from Earth. According to the Milky Way galaxy, when the galaxy falls in the direction of the cluster, it loses its gas, forming a long thin tail stretching 200,000 light years – almost the width of two Milky Way galaxies.

The tail of the galaxy is made up of dust and gaseous hydrogen. When the galaxy penetrates the intergalactic material surrounding the cluster, gas and dust are expelled from the galaxy. [Celestial Photos: Hubble Space Telescope’s Latest Cosmic Views]

In the end, D100 will exhaust the hydrogen gas that the galaxy needs to form new stars, and will become a dead relic, according to the statement.

“This galaxy stands out as a particularly extreme example of the processes prevalent in massive clusters where the galaxy turns from a healthy spiral, full of star formation into a red and dead galaxy,” says William Kramer, lead author and researcher at Yale University in Connecticut, says statement. “The spiral arms disappear, and the galaxy remains without gas and only with old stars. This phenomenon has been known for several decades, but Hubble gives the best images of the galaxies undergoing this process. ”

Researchers estimate that the D100 can withstand the process, also known as depressurization, for about 300 million years.

Although D100 is one of many galaxies in this situation, one factor distinguishes it from others that astronomers have seen and modeled: the D100 exploration tail is much smoother and clearer than most of these galaxies, according to the study.

The spiral galaxy D100 (far right) loses its gas when it falls to the center of the Coma galaxy in this image from the Hubble Space Telescope. The brown stripes near the center of the D100 are gas that is being pulled out of the galaxy.

The spiral galaxy D100 (far right) loses its gas when it falls to the center of the Coma galaxy in this image from the Hubble Space Telescope. The brown stripes near the center of the D100 are gas that is being pulled out of the galaxy.

Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Sun (University of Alabama), V. Kramer and J. Kenny (Yale University).

“This is surprising, because such a tail is not observed in most computer simulations. Most of the galaxies undergoing this process are more a mess, ”said Jeffrey Kenny, a co-author of the study, who also works at Yale University. statement. “Clean edges and tail tail structures suggest that magnetic fields play a significant role in its formation. Computer simulations show that magnetic fields form filaments in tail gas. Without magnetic fields, the tail is more lumpy than filiform. ”

Hubble data showed that the gas stripping process began at the outer edges of the galaxy and is now moving towards the center. Hot, glowing, blue clusters of young stars also appear in the image, with the brightest such clusters located in the middle of the tail, where there is still enough hydrogen to feed the star formation.

However, according to researchers' estimates, in a few hundred million years D100 will completely lose its spiral structure and will consist only of old red stars. The results were published January 8 in the Astrophysical Journal.

Follow Samantha Mathewson @ Sam_Ashley13, Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.


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