Israeli astronomers discover "prey" of a dwarf galaxy by its neighbors

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/11/21 16:43:02

Israeli researchers have found new evidence of the process of "swallowing" a dwarf galaxy by two large galaxies close to it, according to Tel Aviv University on Tuesday.

The discovered celestial object is in the shape of a tadpole with an elliptical "head," centered at two galaxies and behind it there is a huge "tail" of about 500,000 light-years.

It was discovered about 300 million light-years from Earth.

Swallowing of galaxies takes about a billion years and occurs when the stars of the dwarf galaxy are attracted by the gravitational force of the large galaxies.

The head of the tadpole probably originated from the stars of the dwarf galaxy, which were close to the two "predator" galaxies observed in the center of the head.

The giant tail is made up of the remains of farther stars in the disintegrating galaxy. The observation by the researchers caught the decomposition process in full swing.

The group of galaxies observed in this study is called "HCG 98" and consists of a dense group of four galaxies.

In observations and deciphering, the astronomers used special technology - a telescope that enables observation and photography of a relatively large space in the sky, and a method of processing that brings together many photographs of the same area.

This method allows researchers to watch even very pale bodies.

The researchers also included scientists from the University of California and the Russian Academy of Sciences. The observations were made at the Wise Observatory in southern Israel.

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