Astronomy Picture of the Day

APOD: 2024 February 20 ┴ AM1054: Stars Form as Galaxies Collide
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APOD: 2024 February 20 ┴ AM1054: Stars Form as Galaxies Collide
Credit & Copyright: NASA, ESA, STScI; Processing: J. English (U. Manitoba); Science: M. Rodruck (Penn State U. & Randolph-Macon C.) et al.;
Text: Jayanne English (U. Manitoba).
Explanation: When galaxies collide, how many stars are born? For AM1054-325, featured here in a recently released image by the Hubble Space Telescope, the answer is millions. Instead of stars being destroyed as galaxy AM1054-325 and a nearby galaxy circle each other, their gravity and motion has ignited stellar creation. Star formation occurs rapidly in the gaseous debris stretching from AM1054-325┴s yellowish body due to the other galaxy┴s gravitational pull. Hydrogen gas surrounding newborn stars glows pink. Bright infant stars shine blue and cluster together in compact nurseries of thousands to millions of stars. AM1054-325 possesses over 100 of these intense-blue, dot-like star clusters, some appearing like a string of pearls. Analyzing ultraviolet light helped determine that most of these stars are less than 10 million years old: stellar babies. Many of these nurseries may grow up to be globular star clusters, while the bundle of young stars at the bottom tip may even detach and form a small galaxy.

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: galactic collision
Publications with words: galactic collision
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