Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hubble peered into the history of galaxies

This picture was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope agency NASA and ESA. It shows the dwarf galaxy NGC 1140 is located 60 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Eridanus. As seen in this image, the galaxy NGC 1140 has an irregular shape, like the Large Magellanic Cloud - a small galaxy is a satellite of the Milky Way

This dwarf galaxy is undergoing a so-called starburst. As is almost ten times smaller than the Milky Way, in the year it is producing stars at about the same rate as the star the size of our sun. This is clearly seen in the picture, which shows the galaxy illuminated by bright blue-white young stars. The objects like NGC 1140 are of particular interest to astronomers. These small galaxies are actively form new stars. They contain a large amount of primary gas and a much smaller number of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium than our sun. 

The composition makes them look like galaxies with intense star formation in the early universe. These galaxies of the early Universe are the building blocks for today's large galaxies such as our Milky Way. However, due to the fact that there are such early universe galaxies very far away from us, their study is a daunting task. That is why small galaxies undergoing starbursts, and are an excellent alternative for the study of the evolution of galaxies. In the future, active star formation will have a negative impact on the dwarf galaxy. When massive stars in the galaxy die and explode as supernovae, gas is released into space and can easily overcome the force of gravity of the galaxy. The release of gas from the galaxy means that it loses its potential for the formation of stars in the future, as this gas is one of the building blocks for new stars. Starburst galaxy NGC 1140 cannot continue for a long time.

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