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News Release Archive:

News Release 337 of 967

March 2, 2007 09:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2007-12

Hubble Sees 'Comet Galaxy' Being Ripped Apart By Galaxy Cluster

March 2, 2007: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, in collaboration with several other ground- and space- based telescopes, has captured a galaxy being ripped apart by a galaxy cluster's gravitational field and harsh environment.

The finding sheds light on the mysterious process by which gas-rich spiral-shaped galaxies might evolve into gas-poor irregular- or elliptical-shaped galaxies over billions of years. The new observations also reveal one mechanism for forming the millions of "homeless" stars seen scattered throughout galaxy clusters.


Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. -P. Kneib (Laboratorie d'Astrophysique de Marseille)