If you’re able to divert your eyes from the big show in the upper right, take a look at the object in the center of the image: That blue cloud is LHA 120-N 180B, likely an active star-forming region.
“When you visit the same piece of sky again and again, you can recognize, ‘Oh, this galaxy has a new star in it that was not there when we were there a year or three months ago,” says Rick White, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute , which hosts Pan-STARRS’s archive.
Clusters like these, dating back to just a few billion years after the Big Bang, are the source material for scientists looking to understand star formation, and by combining data from several telescopes they gain a better understanding on the goings-on at these nurseries.Two’s the charm: You’re looking at a white dwarf and a red giant, a binary star called R Aquarii.
And all this creation maybe have been the result of an accidental collision: Scientists believe a galaxy in the vicinity collided with ESO 338-4, and their subsequent interaction of gas and dust is what’s feeding all the stellar activity in this region.We’ve come across the galaxy cluster called Abell 2597 in our travels before, but never looking like this.
The idea, first proposed in 2005 by Avery Broderick, now at the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics and the University of Waterloo in Canada, and Avi Loeb of Harvard University, would explain why the black hole appears to flare.“It seems like they’ve got something really exciting here,” added astronomer Andrea Ghez, a longtime competitor to the European team at the University of California, Los Angeles.If these rotating flares are due to hot spots in the way that Broderick and Loeb imagined, additional flares will help reveal the black hole’s “spin,” a measure of its rotation.