Fast Evolution of a Galaxy

Fast Evolution of a Galaxy

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Fast Facts
News release ID: STScI-2014-48
Release Date: Nov 13, 2014
Image Use: Copyright
About this image

This graphic illustrates how a vibrant, star-forming galaxy quickly transforms into a sedate galaxy composed of old stars. The scenario begins when two galaxies merge (Panel 1), funneling a large amount of gas into the central region. The gas compresses, sparking a firestorm of star birth, which blows out most of the remaining star-forming gas (Panel 2). Devoid of its fuel, the galaxy settles into a quiet existence, composed of aging stars (Panel 3).

Galaxies, Infographics, Interacting Galaxies


Illustration: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI);
Science: P. Sell (Texas Tech University)