A spectacular head-on collision between two galaxies fueled the unusual triangular-shaped star-birthing frenzy, as captured in this image from the Hubble Space Telescope.

The interacting galaxy duo is collectively called Arp 143. The pair contains the glittery, distorted, star-forming spiral galaxy NGC 2445 at right, along with its less flashy companion, NGC 2444 at left.

Astronomers suggest that the galaxies passed through each other, igniting the uniquely shaped star-formation firestorm in NGC 2445, where thousands of stars are bursting to life on the right-hand side of the image. This galaxy is awash in star birth because it is rich in gas, the fuel that makes stars. However, it hasn’t yet escaped the gravitational clutches of its partner NGC 2444, shown on the left side of the image. The pair is waging a cosmic tug-of-war, which NGC 2444 appears to be winning. The galaxy has pulled gas from NGC 2445, forming the oddball triangle of newly minted stars.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, STScI, Julianne Dalcanton (Center for Computational Astrophysics / Flatiron Inst. and University of Washington); Image Processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)

Text Credit: Donna Weaver (STScI)


由哈勃太空望远镜拍摄的这张图片显示,两个星系迎面相撞的壮观景象为这种不寻常的三角形恒星诞生狂潮提供了动力。

这对相互作用的星系组合统称为ARP 143。这对星系包含右侧闪烁、扭曲、恒星形成螺旋星系NGC2445,以及左侧不太耀眼的伴星系NGC 2444。

天文学家认为,这两个星系相互穿行,点燃了NGC 2445中形状独特的恒星形成火焰风暴,数千颗恒星在图像右侧爆发。这个星系充满了恒星诞生的喜悦,因为它富含气体,这是制造恒星的燃料。然而,它尚未摆脱其伴星系NGC 2444的引力,如图左侧所示。两个星系正在进行一场宇宙拔河战,NGC 2444似乎是赢家。该星系从NGC 2445中吸出气体,形成了由新生恒星组成的奇怪三角形。

图片来源:NASA, ESA, STScI, Julianne Dalcanton (Center for Computational Astrophysics / Flatiron Inst. and University of Washington); Image Processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)

文本来源:Donna Weaver (STScI)

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