Hubble photographs drifting “jellyfish galaxy”

The Hubble Mission Support Group has published a new colorful image. On it you can see the galaxy JW39.

Galaxy JW39 (Hubble photo). Source: ESA/Hubble & NASA, M. Gullieuszik and the GASP team

Galaxy JW39 is located at a distance of 900 million light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Coma Berenices. One of its distinctive features is the presence of extended tails consisting of dust, gas and newborn stars. Due to their resemblance to tentacles, astronomers sometimes call such objects “jellyfish galaxies“.

Despite the serene appearance of the “jellyfish galaxy”, it is located in a rather hostile environment: inside a galactic cluster. Compared to their more isolated counterparts, galaxies in clusters are often subjected to powerful gravitational influence from their neighbors. It can give them rather strange and bizarre shapes.

Also, do not forget that the space inside the clusters is filled with hot plasma. Despite its extreme sparsity, it has a noticeable effect on the galaxies moving through it, just as the current slows down swimmers. In a process known as pressurized separation, plasma acts as a headwind, carrying gas and dust away from the galaxies, which leads to the formation of characteristic plumes like those that adorn JW39. Over time, the matter in them cools and condenses, which leads to the formation of new star systems. 

This process can have a very serious impact on the future fate of galaxies. Over time, they may lose all gas reserves and completely lose the ability to form new stars.

According to

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