See pic: NASA's Hubble views merging galaxies in Eridanus
The US space agency NASA recently shared a beautiful image of two or more galaxies in the act of merging together to form a single new galaxy.
New Delhi: The US space agency NASA recently shared a beautiful image of two or more galaxies in the act of merging together to form a single new galaxy.
The image shows that a peculiar galaxy known as NGC 1487, lying about 30 million light-years away in the southern constellation of Eridanus. It was taken by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
The original appearance of the galaxy has lost all its traces as stars and gas have been thrown by gravity in an elaborate cosmic whirl.
Galaxies are always disrupted by the violence of the merging process unless one is bigger than the other. As a result, it is very difficult to determine precisely what the original galaxies looked like and, indeed, how many of them there were. In this case, it is possible that we are seeing the merger of several dwarf galaxies that were previously clumped together in a small group.
Although older yellow and red stars can be seen in the outer regions of the new galaxy, its appearance is dominated by large areas of bright blue stars, illuminating the patches of gas that gave them life. This burst of star formation may well have been triggered by the merger.