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Picture of the Day - Dramatic Activity Within a Galaxy Core

Published by Matt on Mon Jun 7, 2010 1:44 pm via: Hubble ESA
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This Hubble Space Telescope snapshot reveals dramatic activities within the core of the galaxy NGC 3079, where a lumpy bubble of hot gas is rising from a cauldron of glowing matter. The structure is more than 3, 000 light-years wide and rises 3, 500 light-years above the galaxy’s disk.

Dramatic Activity Within a Galaxy Core. Credit: NASA/ESA

Dramatic Activity Within a Galaxy Core. Credit: NASA/ESA

Astronomers suspect that the bubble is being blown by ‘winds’ (high-speed streams of particles) released during a burst of star formation. Gaseous filaments at the top of the bubble are whirling around in a vortex and are being expelled into space. Eventually, this gas will rain down upon the galaxy’s disk where it may collide with gas clouds, compress them, and form a new generation of stars. The two white dots just above the bubble are probably stars in the galaxy.

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