NASA experts and their colleagues from the European space Agency has discovered why long-term portions of the arms of the galaxy NGC 278 differ significantly in speed of star formation from other areas. To deal with these scientists helped the pictures of the galaxy in the constellation Cassiopeia, was obtained using the space telescope “Hubble”.
Image: ESA/Hubble, NASA and S. Smartt
Galaxy NGC 278 is located, in the cosmic sense, not too far from the Earth, the distance to it is located 38 million light years. – This galaxy looks calm, but his brightness and color and bluish tint suggests that it is an active process of star formation. At the same time, in the “suburbs” of the spiral arms of the galaxy not seen anything like it — the stars are actively being formed only within a diameter of about 6 500 light years.
New pictures allowed to put forward a version that can explain this phenomenon. As scientists assume, in the relatively recent past with NGC 278 has faced a smaller galaxy containing large amounts of neutral gas. The collision resulted in the movement of the gas of both galaxies, and as a consequence became the reason that of this gas began to form new stars. While outside of the zone in which “crashed” the second galaxy, no change has occurred than according to the assumption of astronomers, explains the relaxed state of the arms of the galaxy.
Regardless of whether it was true the scientists have conjectured that the observed phenomenon is extremely rare in objects like NGC 278, and is more typical of galaxies with so-called “jumper” – a dense oblong cluster of stars in the center of their nuclei.
Remind, recently, experts have discovered in space to another curious phenomenon — a double star in the constellation of Hydra, at high speed, emitting in the surrounding space, a huge plasma “shells”.