Galactic Waltz Caught In Action With Hubble

First Posted: Nov 30, 2015 01:20 PM EST

Researchers have spotted what appears to be a "galactic waltz" in the 2MASX J16270254+4328340 galaxy. The image was caught using NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope, where the galaxy seemed to be performing the dance of a galactic merger.

This galaxy merged with a following galaxy, leaving a slender mist trail which consists of millions of stars, according to an ESA news release.

Hubble captured the turbulent image as it was approaching the end of its gravitational tango. ESA researchers found that this galaxy was approaching the final days of its life. As the galaxy enters its old age phase, its star formation abilities are also ending.

Researchers believe that most of the turbulence took place earlier in the process. When the two galaxies merged, clouds of gases were released, which led to an eruption of star formation, according the report. This event released a significant amount of galactic gas, and as a result the galaxy is unable to create new stars.

The turbulence will diminish gradually and the new stars in the galaxy will redden as they age and cool individually. The galaxy will not produce new stars in the future, as it is approaching its dying stage. 

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