Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cosmic 'Fountain Of Youth' Spied By Hubble Space Telescope

Date:
April 27, 2009
Source:
ESA/Hubble Information Centre
Summary:
To commemorate the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's 19 years of success, the orbiting telescope has photographed a peculiar system of galaxies known as Arp 194. This interacting group contains several galaxies along with a "cosmic fountain" of stars, gas and dust that stretches over 100,000 light years.

This brilliant image, courtesy of NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope, is a fitting 19th anniversary tribute to the workhorse space observatory. This interacting group contains several galaxies, along with a "cosmic fountain" of stars, gas and dust that stretches over 100 000 light-years. Resembling a pair of owl's eyes, the two nuclei of the colliding galaxies can be seen in the process of merging at the upper left. The bizarre blue bridge of material extending out from the northern component looks as if it connects to a third galaxy but in reality the galaxy is in the background and not connected at all. The blue "fountain" is the most striking feature of this galaxy troupe and it contains complexes of super star clusters that may have as many as dozens of individual young star clusters in them.
Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Over the past 19 years, Hubble has taken dozens of exotic pictures of galaxies going "bump in the night" as they collide with each other and have a variety of close encounters of the galactic kind. Just when you thought these interactions couldn’t look any stranger, a new image of a trio of galaxies, called Arp 194, looks as if of the galaxies has sprung a leak.

The bright blue streamer is really a stretched spiral arm full of newborn blue stars. This typically happens when two galaxies interact and gravitationally tug at each other gravitationally.

Resembling a pair of owl's eyes, the two nuclei of the colliding galaxies can be seen in the process of merging at the upper left. The bizarre blue bridge of material extending out from the northern component looks as if it connects to a third galaxy but in reality this galaxy is in the background and not connected at all. Hubble's sharp view allows astronomers to try and sort out visually which are the foreground and background objects when galaxies, superficially, appear to overlap.

The blue "fountain" is the most striking feature of this galaxy troupe and it contains complexes of super star clusters that may have as many as dozens of individual young star clusters in them. It formed as a result of the interactions among the galaxies in the northern component of Arp 194. The gravitational forces involved in a galaxy interaction can enhance the star formation rate and give rise to brilliant bursts of star formation in merging systems.

Hubble's resolution shows clearly that the stream of material lies in front of the southern component of Arp 194, as shown by the dust that is silhouetted around the star cluster complexes.

The details of the interactions among the multiple galaxies that make up Arp 194 are complex. The system was most likely disrupted by a previous collision or close encounter. The shapes of all the galaxies involved have been distorted by their gravitational interactions with one another.

Arp 194, located in the constellation of Cepheus, resides approximately 600 million light-years away from Earth. Arp 194 is one of thousands of interacting and merging galaxies known in our nearby Universe. These observations were taken in January 2009 with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. Blue, green and red filters were composited together to form this rather picturesque image of a galaxy interaction.

This picture was issued to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1990. Hubble has made more than 880,000 observations and snapped over 570,000 images of 29,000 celestial objects over the past 19 years.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by ESA/Hubble Information Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

ESA/Hubble Information Centre. "Cosmic 'Fountain Of Youth' Spied By Hubble Space Telescope." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090421101631.htm>.
ESA/Hubble Information Centre. (2009, April 27). Cosmic 'Fountain Of Youth' Spied By Hubble Space Telescope. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090421101631.htm
ESA/Hubble Information Centre. "Cosmic 'Fountain Of Youth' Spied By Hubble Space Telescope." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090421101631.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) The B612 Foundation says asteroids strike Earth much more often than previously thought, and are hoping to build an early warning system. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Chief Outlines Plan for Human Mission to Mars

NASA Chief Outlines Plan for Human Mission to Mars

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) NASA administrator Charles Bolden, speaking at the 'Human to Mars Summit' in Washington, says that learning more about the Red Planet can help answer the 'fundamental question' of 'life beyond Earth'. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nasa Gives You An Excuse to Post a Selfie on Earth Day

Nasa Gives You An Excuse to Post a Selfie on Earth Day

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) NASA is inviting all social media users to take a selfie of themselves alongside nature and to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, or Google Plus with the hashtag #globalselfie. NASA's goal is to crowd-source a collection of snapshots of the earth, ground-up, that will be used to create one "unique mosaic of the Blue Marble." This image will be available to all in May. Since this is probably one of the few times posting a selfie to Twitter won't be embarrassing, we suggest you give it a go for a good cause. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Captured by International Space Station

SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Captured by International Space Station

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 20, 2014) SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft makes a scheduled Easter Sunday rendezvous with the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins