Hubble Space Telescope Spies Hyperactive Galaxy

PureInsight | August 19, 2002

In March of 2002, NASA published a photograph of spiral galaxy NGC 7673. Telltale patches of blue light are signs of the formation of millions of new stars in this system. Each of the bluish areas in this image consists of immense star clusters containing thousands of young stars. Each of its infant giant blue star clusters shines 100 times as brightly in the ultraviolet as similar immense star clusters in our own Galaxy. This image, taken from Earth orbit by the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope in 1996 and 1997, also shows two other galaxies seen in the background of the image, to the left and right of NGC 7673. These galaxies are further away and so appear redder, due to their higher redshift, an effect caused by the expansion of the Universe.

NGC 7673 is located in the constellation of Pegasus at an approximate distance of 150 million light-years. Scientists are amazed by the intensity of star formation that they are observing. According to Nicole Homeier from the European Southern Observatory in Munich, Germany and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, 'NGC 7673 is a nearby example of the type of vigorous star formation that we think may have taken place in the early Universe. Our most pressing questions are: What has triggered this enormous burst of star formation and how will the galaxy evolve in the future?'
Recently, astronomers have observed numerous amazing astrological phenomena in the boundless universe, such as the creation of large numbers of stars as star systems collide, the mysterious birth of new stars within ancient star systems, the formation of new star systems, the frequent explosion of new stars, and the explosion of gamma rays. These discoveries have offered a glimpse into mysterious, highly significant changes that the universe has been undergoing, and are challenging the existing theories on the creation of the universe. Discovering the reasons behind these phenomena is a very important and meaningful task.


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