Feeds

Very fabric of space-time RIPPED apart in latest Hubble pic

Cluster upchuck: Highspeed galaxy hurls star-making fuel during violent passage

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Spiral galaxy ESO 137-001 is ramming through the Norma galaxy cluster so hard it's spilling its guts out, leaving bright blue streaks of its own gases behind.

Spiral galaxy ESO 137-001

The spiral is zooming in between other galaxies in the Norma cluster, over 200 million light years away, at a speed of nearly 4.5 million miles an hour. The galaxy is ploughing through so rapidly that much of its own gas is being caught and torn away in a process called "ram pressure stripping". Only the binding force of the galaxy's stars' gravity keeps them intact.

The brown smoky region at the centre of the spiral is also being pushed by the ram pressure, but it leaves dust particles, rather than gas, behind it.

The violent passage is illustrated by the tattered threads of gas captured by the Hubble Space Telescope as blue jellyfish-like tendrils trailing behind the galaxy. The pressure has pulled the gas out of the spiral galaxy and out across intergalactic space, where it has erupted with young, massive stars which pump out light in vivid blues and ultraviolet.

The effect of ESO 137-001's journey is to leave the seeds of star-making in its wake, but the galaxy is losing so much of its stellar fuel in this way, it's likely to have trouble making its own stars in the future. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.