This video zooms into the relic galaxy NGC 1277 near the center of the Perseus cluster of over 1,000 galaxies, located 240 million light-years from Earth. The galaxy is unique in that it is considered a relic of what galaxies were like in the early universe. The galaxy is composed exclusively of aging stars that were born 10 billion years ago. NGC 1277 is moving so fast through the cluster, at 2 million miles per hour, that it cannot merge with other galaxies to collect stars or pull in gas to fuel star formation. In addition, near the galaxy cluster center, intergalactic
gas is so hot it cannot cool to condense and form stars.
Production: March 9, 2018
Publication: March 12, 2018