Headlines > News > Picture of the Day - Star Maker

Picture of the Day - Star Maker

Published by Sigurd on Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:28 pm via: NASA
More share options

Galaxies throughout the universe are ablaze with star birth. But for a nearby, small spiral galaxy, the star-making party is almost over.

Astronomers were surprised to find that star-formation activities in the outer regions of NGC 2976 have been virtually asleep because they shut down millions of years ago. The celebration is confined to a few die-hard partygoers huddled in the galaxy’s inner region.

Star Maker. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Dalcanton and B. Williams (University of Washington, Seattle)

Star Maker. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Dalcanton and B. Williams

The explanation, astronomers say, is that a raucous interaction with M81, a neighboring group of hefty galaxies, ignited star birth in NGC 2976. Now the star-making fun is beginning to end. Images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope show that star formation in the galaxy began fizzling out in its outskirts about 500 million years ago as some of the gas was stripped away and the rest collapsed toward the center. With no gas left to fuel the party, more and more regions of the galaxy are taking a much-needed nap. The star-making region is now confined to about 5,000 light-years around the core.

No comments
Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!
Leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2018 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use