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NGC 4013 and the Tidal Stream

Discussion in 'Tech, Science, and Space' started by Robby, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    NGC 4013 and the Tidal Stream
    Image Credit & Copyright: R Jay Gabany (Blackbird Observatory) - collaboration; D.Martínez-Delgado(IAC, MPIA),
    M.Pohlen (Cardiff), S.Majewski (U.Virginia), J.Peñarrubia (U.Victoria), C.Palma (Penn State)

    Explanation: Nearly 50 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major, NGC 4013 was long considered an isolated island universe. Seen edge-on, the gorgeous spiral galaxy was known for its flattened disk and central bulge of stars, cut by silhouetted dust lanes. But this deep color image of the region reveals a previously unknown feature associated with NGC 4013, an enormous, faint looping structure extending (above and toward the left) over 80 thousand light-years from the galaxy's center. A detailed exploration of the remarkable structure reveals it to be a stream of stars originally belonging to another galaxy, likely a smaller galaxy torn apart by gravitational tides as it merged with the larger spiral. Astronomers argue that the newly discovered tidal stream also explains a warped distribution of neutral hydrogen gas seen in radio images of NGC 4013 and offers parallels to the formation of our own Milky Way galaxy.




    (Via NASA)
     
  2. Tom

    Tom An Old Friend

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    Photon torpedos away!
     

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