Jellyfish-Shaped Galaxy Detected By Astronomers

Posted: Apr 24 2017, 3:03pm CDT | by , Updated: Apr 24 2017, 3:10pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Jellyfish-Shaped Galaxy Detected by Astronomers
Credit: Yun-Kyeong Sheen

Using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE), astronomers have spotted the first elliptical jellyfish-like galaxy in the Abell 2670 cluster

Astronomers have spotted a new elliptical jellyfish-like galaxy in Abell 2670 cluster. The galaxy was detected by using Very Large Telescope’s Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer instrument and shows tail made of stars and gas, indicating that the gas of the galaxy is being stripped out.

Jellyfish galaxies are exotic objects with long trails of gas and dust. They are typically found in galaxy clusters. As galaxies fall toward the center of a galaxy cluster more and more of their gas is removed. The process is known as ram-pressure stripping and is often responsible for star formation.

Although a number of jellyfish-shaped galaxies have been discovered before but most of them were spiral. This is the first time an elliptical galaxy with jellyfish-like features has been discovered.

“Studies of cluster galaxies are increasingly finding galaxies with spectacular one-sided tails of gas and young stars, suggestive of intense ram-pressure stripping. These so-called jellyfish galaxies typically have late-type morphology…This paper presents the discovery of a post-merger elliptical galaxy undergoing ram pressure stripping.” The authors wrote in the study.

Researchers have also found an H-alpha disk at the center of the galaxy with long gas tails ejecting from it. Several blue star forming blobs were also detected around the galaxy.

Researchers have presented many explanations for the original source of gas in the galaxy. One possible scenario would be that the gas was acquired during a past wet merger. It is also possible that star forming blobs are the remnants of the merger.

Galaxy cluster like Abell 2670 hold valuable clues about the formation of galaxies and the distribution of matter around them. The galaxy cluster is therefore a prime candidate for detail study.

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