Hubble Space Telescope looks at the interior of a starburst galaxy located in our neighborhood. The galaxy is producing stars faster than most of the other galaxies observed.
Hubble Space Telescope has managed to peek into the interior of one of the most active galaxies in our neighborhood.
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The galaxy, named NGC 1569, is a dwarf irregular galaxy which is sitting in the constellation of Camelopardalis about 11 million light years away from the Earth and is bursting with stars. The galaxy is spitting out stars at a rate far higher than that seen in most of the other galaxies. To put things into perspective, it pumps out new stars 100 times faster than our galaxy Milky Way which produces on average seven stars every year.
The dazzling galaxy harbors many star clusters, three of which are visible in the image. Two of the star clusters are real giant ones as each of them contains more than a million glittering stars.
Initially, NGC 1569 was thought to be much closer than currently anticipated. But in 2008, Hubble’s observations helped reevaluate the distance and showed that the galaxy is one and a half times farther away than astronomers thought. And this may be a reason why NGC 1569 has got into a star-birthing frenzy.
The extra distance has placed the galaxy in the middle of a cluster of galaxies. Astronomers suspect that this group of galaxies is compressing gas in NGC 1569 and has turned it into a starburst galaxy. As the gas collapses, it heats up and forms new stars.
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The galaxy NGC 1569 is currently undergoing an exceptionally high rate of star formation and the process is thought to have begun around 25 million years ago.