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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

A Tail Wagging Galaxy
Hugh Bollinger

A Tail Wagging Galaxy

The Tadpole Galaxy  (credit: Hubble Space Telescope)

 

A galaxy with a light-years long tail? No way, you say!

Welcome to the Tadpole Galaxy with a tail this is 280 thousand light-years long. It also carries a string of bright blue star clusters trailing behind like pearls. The space science consensus contends that a galaxy 420 light years away from the Milky Way resulted from the collision and merger of a smaller and a larger galaxy. The gravitational forces of the larger galaxy tore apart the smaller one forming the long tail of the combined galactic structure.

A computer simulation illustrates how the process of colliding galaxies can combine.

The Tadpole Galaxy image was crafted using three separate photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's by using its infrared, orange, and blue light filters and combining them together into one. The galactic view would look handsome on any office, home, or classroom wall. WHB

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