Space Photos of the Week: A Star Is Born After Gases Crash
If this week’s space photos had a theme, it would be impacts. Let’s start with a blue dwarf galaxy that has a strange shape, almost like a sparkly smear across a window. Our dwarf galaxy is pretty and blue and it’s nice to think of it as a sweet stellar nursery, but in this case we’re actually seeing what happened after another galaxy got way too close—a violent clash of dust and gas.
Scientists have been studying star clusters for decades, but they are still not sure how they take shape. Using NASA’s SOFIA telescope, they think they’re a bit closer to unraveling this mystery. When one molecular cloud gets too cozy with another cloud, all that gas and dust come into contact at speeds above 20,000 miles per hour. By studying that violent collision, scientists are beginning to learn more about the building blocks for star factories.
Enjoying all the space drama? Binge-watch the full cosmic gallery of WIRED space photos, here.
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