Hollywood-like Galactic Encounter Results in Baby Stars

Images of the core of NGC 4150, taken in near-ultraviolet light with the sharp-eyed Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). Credit: NASA, ESA, R.M. Crockett (University of Oxford, U.K.), S. Kaviraj (Imperial College London and University of Oxford, U.K.), J. Silk (University of Oxford), M. Mutchler (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore), R. O’Connell (University of Virginia, Charlottesville), and the WFC3 Scientific Oversight Committee

Like news ripped from a Hollywood tabloid, this saga includes an encounter between two individuals; one aging, and thought to be past its prime, the other youthful and vigorous. And for good measure, thrown in on this story are cannibalism and even zombies. The result of the meet-up? Babies. Baby stars, that is, and the individual galaxies in this tale ended up, seemingly, living together happily-ever-after. The Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) captured images of NGC 4150, an aging elliptical galaxy, and at the core of the galaxy was some vigorous star birth. The star-making days of this galaxy should have ended long ago, but here was active star birth taking place. This isn’t the first time astronomers have seen something like this, so they took a closer look. (…) Read the rest of Hollywood-like Galactic Encounter Results in Baby Stars (447 words)

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