Hubble saw a cosmic pearl necklace formed by the collision

Hubble saw a cosmic “pearl necklace” formed by the collision of galaxies

NASA Hubble Space Telescope introduced A snapshot of the galaxy AM 1054-325, named “pearl necklace” for its characteristic appearance – an S-shaped sequence of millions of bright blue stars. This is one of 12 galaxy pair mergers observed by Hubble. In the process of mutual influence, tidal tails of matter of unimaginable length appear in space, in which millions of stars are simultaneously born.

 Click to enlarge. Image source: NASA

Image source: NASA

The mergers of pairs of galaxies studied by Hubble may have occurred much more frequently in the past. Thus, we can study processes close at hand that have long passed in the rest of the Universe. Mergers of observed pairs of galaxies clearly show that star formation flares up almost simultaneously along the entire length of the galaxy. tidal tail — collected by the gravitational forces of both galaxies into a curved rope of molecular hydrogen.

If the collision had not occurred, then both galaxies would have continued on their way without the intense process of birth of new stars and planets. The merger led to the compression of interstellar gas and dust to a state where thermonuclear reactions began to start and new stars began to emerge. In 12 pairs of merging galaxies, Hubble was able to detect 425 clusters with approximately one million newborn stars in each, so intense were the star formation processes.

The fate of newborn stars in tidal tails is unknown. Young stars can gather in clusters and accompany their galaxies further on their journey through the Universe, or they can scatter through the halos of galaxies as single objects, as well as leave them and become intergalactic wanderers. The bottom line is that it should be recognized that a “cosmic accident” in the event of a collision of galaxies does not lead to the death of the participants in the process, but to the intensive generation of many new full-fledged inhabitants of this Universe.


About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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