Hubble digs up galactic glow worm

March 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: Transforming galaxies

Related Stories

Transforming galaxies

February 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 the NASA/ESA Hubble ...

Hubble image of galaxies' El Dorado

March 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 (or Mahi-mahi ...

A spiral galaxy in Hydra

April 9, 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 often a sign of ...

Hubble sees a vapor of stars

July 2, 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 clouds of vapor. ...

VST captures collisions in young galaxy cluster

March 7, 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 picture, and ...

Recommended for you

New insights on the nature of the star V501 Aurigae revealed

February 20, 2017

(Phys.org)—Astronomers have presented the results of new photometric and spectroscopic observations of the star V501 Aurigae (V501 Aur for short), providing new insights into the nature of this object. The findings show ...

Scientists readying to create first image of a black hole

February 20, 2017

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from around the world is getting ready to create what might be the first image of a black hole. The project is the result of collaboration between teams manning radio receivers around the ...

Dating the Milky Way's disc

February 20, 2017

When a star like our sun gets to be very old, after another seven billion years or so, it will no longer be able to sustain burning its nuclear fuel. With only about half of its mass remaining, it will shrink to a fraction ...

Mapping the family tree of stars

February 20, 2017

Astronomers are borrowing principles applied in biology and archaeology to build a family tree of the stars in the galaxy. By studying chemical signatures found in the stars, they are piecing together these evolutionary trees ...

SpaceX launches rocket from NASA's historic moon pad

February 19, 2017

A SpaceX rocket soared from NASA's long-idled moonshot pad Sunday, sending up space station supplies from the exact spot where astronauts embarked on the lunar landings nearly a half-century ago.

2 comments

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.