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Orphan Stars Found in Long Galaxy Tail


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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 07:03 PM

ESO 137-001 in Abell 3627:
Orphan Stars Found in Long Galaxy Tail


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Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MSU/M.Sun et al; H-alpha/Optical: SOAR (MSU/NOAO/UNC/CNPq-Brazil)/M.Sun et al.


This composite image of X-ray and optical light shows a tail that has been created as a galaxy plunges into a cluster, shedding material and forming stars behind it. In this image, X-rays from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue) are seen to extend for over 200,000 light years behind the galaxy called ESO 137-001. Emission from hydrogen light (red), known to astronomers as "H-alpha", and the continuum of optical light (white) were gathered from the Southern Astrophysical Research telescope (SOAR) in Chile.

The tail was created as gas was stripped from ESO 137-001 as it descends toward the center of Abell 3627, a giant cluster of galaxies. The tail in X-rays reveals multimillion-degree gas from the cluster and the H-alpha radiation, which stretches for about 130,000 light years, is much cooler gas. Evidence for star formation in this tail includes 29 regions of ionized hydrogen that are glowing in H-alpha, from the light of newly formed stars. These regions are all downstream of the galaxy, located in or near the tail. The researchers believe the stars formed in the tail within the last 10 million years or so. Two Chandra X-ray sources near these regions represent extra evidence for star formation activity.

Source: Chandra - Photo Album

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#2    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

    Space Cadet

  • 32,763 posts
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  • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

    Oscar Wilde

Posted 20 September 2007 - 07:16 PM

More Images of Abell 3627

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Chandra X-ray Image of ESO 137-001 and Tail in Abell 3627
he comet-like tail behind the galaxy ESO 137-001 is clearly shown in this Chandra X-ray Observatory image. The 70,000 light year long tail was created as gas was stripped from ESO 137-001 while it plunges toward the center of Abell 3627, a giant cluster of galaxies. Cool gas from the galaxy - only seen in optical images - is mixed in with hot gas from the cluster as seen in X-rays.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/MSU/M. Sun et al.)


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H-alpha Image of ESO 137-001 and Tail in Abell 3627
This optical image of hydrogen line-emission obtained by the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope shows the galaxy ESO 137-001 and its long tail. The white circles show 29 regions of ionized hydrogen that are being lit up by newly formed stars. These regions if star formation are all downstream of the galaxy, located in or near the tail. It is believed that the stars formed within the last 10 million years or so.
(Credit: SOAR (MSU/NOAO/UNC/CNPq-Brazil)/M.Sun et al.)


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XMM-Newton X-ray Image of Abell 3627
This is an X-ray image of the galaxy cluster Abell 3627 obtained with the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. The galaxy ESO 137-001 is plunging towards the center of the cluster, as shown by the direction of its tail (see the box which shows the field in the composite image). The X-ray emission is from multimillion degree gas that is pervading the cluster.
(Credit: XMM credit: ESA/MSU/M.Sun et al.)


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Optical Image of ESO 137-001 in Abell 3627
An optical image from the SOAR telescope of ESO 137-001 - located in the lower left of the image - and nearby field. The tail is not visible in this image. A couple of other galaxies in the image are visible, but nearly all of the optical sources are foreground stars located in our galaxy.
(Credit: SOAR (MSU/NOAO/UNC/CNPq-Brazil)/M.Sun et al.)

Source: Chandra - Photo Album

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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