Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UAH/M.Sun et al; Optical: NASA, ESA, & the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Seen among the foreground of stars in the Milky Way, a distant galaxy called ESO 137-001 is streaking through a cluster of galaxies in the constellation of Norma at an astonishing 4.5 million miles per hour. As ESO 137 speeds through the cluster, it rams into the rather thin gas which makes up the intercluster medium. The pressure of this collision strips away gas from ESO 137. The image above is an HST optical image combined with a Chandra X-ray Observatory X-ray image (in blue). ESO 137 leaves a wake of X-ray emitting gas as it speeds through the cluster. Nearer the galaxy, tendrils of the galaxy's interstellar medium are stripped out of ESO 137. Some of this material will feed the intergalactic medium of the Norma Cluster with new gas enriched in heavy elements, helping to further the chemical evolution of the Universe.
Published: May 26, 2014
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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Monday, 02-Jun-2014 18:21:18 EDT