Hubble Space Telescope notices stellar fireworks in ‘skyrocket’ galaxy
American space agency NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured images of a spectacular fireworks show in a small, nearby galaxy, which resembles a July 4th skyrocket, thus making it known that such shows are not just confined to Earth's skies.
The galaxy, Kiso 5639, is shaped like a flattened pancake resembling a skyrocket due to its tilted edge-on property. It has a brilliant blazing head and a long, star-studded tail with a firestorm of star birth lighting up one end of the diminutive.
Kiso 5639 is a rare example of an elongated galaxy nearby Earth, though such space constellations are found in abundance at larger distances. The star birth is said to have caused due to intergalactic gas raining on one end of the galaxy as it drifts through space.
Lead researcher Debra Elmegreen of Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, New York said, "I think Kiso 5639 is a beautiful, up-close example of what must have been common long ago. The current thinking is that galaxies in the early universe grow from accreting gas from the surrounding neighborhood. It's a stage that galaxies, including our Milky Way, must go through as they are growing up”.
Astronomers say the bright gas in the galaxy's head comprises of fewer heavier elements (collectively called "metals"), such as carbon and oxygen, than the rest of the galaxy. Stars are mainly composed of hydrogen and helium, but also have composition of other "heavier" elements. When the stars die, they release their heavy elements and enrich the surrounding gas.
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