Hubble digs up galactic glow worm

Mar 25, 2013
Credit: ESA/Hubble and NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

(Phys.org) —This charming and bright galaxy, known as IRAS 23436+5257, was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. It is located in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia, which is named after an arrogant, vain, and yet beautiful mythical queen.

The twisted, wormlike structure of this galaxy is most likely the result of a collision and subsequent merger of two galaxies. Such interactions are quite common in the universe, and they can range from minor interactions involving a being caught by a , to major galactic crashes. Friction between the gas and dust during a collision can have a major effect on the galaxies involved, morphing the shape of the original galaxies and creating interesting new structures.

When you look up at the calm and quiet it is not always easy to picture it as a dynamic and vibrant environment with entire galaxies in motion, spinning like children's toys and crashing into whatever crosses their path. The motions are, of course, extremely slow, and occur over millions or even billions of years.

The aftermath of these galactic collisions helps scientists to understand how these movements occur and what may be in store for our own Milky Way, which is on a collision course with a neighboring galaxy, Messier 31.

Explore further: Galaxy clusters collide—dark matter still a mystery

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Transforming galaxies

Feb 13, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Many of the Universe's galaxies are like our own, displaying beautiful spiral arms wrapping around a bright nucleus. Examples in this stunning image, taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 on ...

Hubble image of galaxies' El Dorado

Mar 12, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has produced this beautiful image of the galaxy NGC 1483. NGC 1483 is a barred spiral galaxy located in the southern constellation of Dorado — the dolphinfish ...

A spiral galaxy in Hydra

Apr 09, 2012

(Phys.org) -- This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows NGC 4980, a spiral galaxy in the southern constellation of Hydra. The shape of NGC 4980 appears slightly deformed, something which is ...

Hubble sees a vapor of stars

Jul 02, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Relatively few galaxies possess the sweeping, luminous spiral arms or brightly glowing center of our home galaxy the Milky Way. In fact, most of the Universe's galaxies look like small, amorphous ...

VST captures collisions in young galaxy cluster

Mar 07, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile has imaged a fascinating collection of interacting galaxies in the Hercules galaxy cluster. The sharpness of the new ...

Recommended for you

Is the universe finite or infinite?

6 hours ago

Two possiblities exist: either the Universe is finite and has a size, or it's infinite and goes on forever. Both possibilities have mind-bending implications.

'Teapot' nova begins to wane

8 hours ago

A star, or nova, has appeared in the constellation of Sagittarius and, even though it is now waning, it is still bright enough to be visible in the sky over Perth through binoculars or a telescope.

Dark matter is darker than once thought

9 hours ago

This panel of images represents a study of 72 colliding galaxy clusters conducted by a team of astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope. The research sets new limits on ...

Galaxy clusters collide—dark matter still a mystery

Mar 26, 2015

When galaxy clusters collide, their dark matters pass through each other, with very little interaction. Deepening the mystery, a study by scientists at EPFL and the University of Edinburgh challenges the ...

Using 19th century technology to time travel to the stars

Mar 26, 2015

In the late 19th century, astronomers developed the technique of capturing telescopic images of stars and galaxies on glass photographic plates. This allowed them to study the night sky in detail. Over 500,000 ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

cantdrive85
1 / 5 (6) Mar 25, 2013
The twisted, wormlike structure of this galaxy is most likely the result of a collision and subsequent merger of two galaxies.


That, or the twisted wormlike feature is a galactic Birkeland current which pinches into a plasmoid at the core of the galaxy.
Blakut
5 / 5 (2) Mar 26, 2013
yes. Or dragons.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.