NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captures starbursts in Virgo

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured a beautiful image of starbursts in Virgo.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Apr 15, 2017, 10:54 AM IST
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captures starbursts in Virgo
Photo Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

New Delhi: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured a beautiful image of starbursts in Virgo.

According to the US space agency, the galaxy formation and evolution are still far from being fully understood, the conditions we see within certain galaxies, such as so-called starburst galaxies, can tell us a lot about how they have evolved over time.

Starburst galaxies contain a region or many regions where stars are forming at such a breakneck rate that the galaxy is eating up its gas supply faster than it can be replenished, as per reports.

NGC 4536 is such a galaxy and the image was captured here in beautiful detail by the Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).

The galaxy is located roughly 50 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin), it is a hub of extreme star formation.

NASA said that there are several different factors that can lead to such an ideal environment in which stars can form at such a rapid rate. Crucially, there has to be a sufficiently massive supply of gas. And this might be acquired in a number of ways — for example by passing very close to another galaxy, in a full-blown galactic collision, or as a result of some event that forces lots of gas into a relatively small space.

Star formation leaves a few tell-tale fingerprints, so astronomers can tell where stars have been born. Starburst regions are rich in gas and young stars in these extreme environments often live fast and die young, burning extremely hot and exhausting their gas supplies fairly quickly.