четверг, 1 августа 2019 г.

Say hello to the Antennae galaxies 👋Two galaxies are locked in a…

Say hello to the Antennae galaxies 👋

Two galaxies are locked in a deadly embrace in this Hubble Space Telescope image. Once normal, sedate spiral galaxies like the Milky Way, this galactic pair has spent the past few hundred million years sparring. The clash is so violent that stars have been ripped from their host galaxies to form a streaming arc between the two. 

The far-flung stars and streamers of gas stretch out into space, creating long tidal tails reminiscent of antennae (not visible in this close-up Hubble view). Clouds of gas blossom out in bright pink and red, surrounding the bright flashes of blue star-forming regions — some of which are partially obscured by dark patches of dust. 

Hubble’s observations have uncovered over 1,000 bright, young star clusters bursting to life as a result of the head-on wreck. The sweeping spiral-like patterns, traced by bright blue star clusters, shows the result of a firestorm of star-birth activity, which was triggered by the collision. The rate of star formation is so high that the Antennae galaxies are said to be in a state of starburst, a period in which all of the gas within the galaxies is being used to form stars. This cannot last forever, and neither can the separate galaxies; eventually the nuclei will coalesce and the galaxies will begin their retirement together as one large elliptical galaxy. 

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