Death plunge of galaxies and the longest known tail revealed by NASA

  • NASA has detected a group of galaxies plunging into the Coma galaxy cluster

| Updated on: Jun 06 2023, 22:41 IST
200-foot asteroid among 5 MASSIVE monster rocks set to buzz Earth, NASA warns
image caption
1/6 Asteroid 2023 HO18: Today, this 93-foot asteroid is set to make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of just 290,000 miles. The asteroid is currently hurtling towards our planet at an astonishing velocity of 16774 kmph. (Pixabay)
image caption
2/6 Asteroid 2023 JR2: Today, a 120-foot asteroid is poised to zoom past Earth, approaching as close as 4.05 million miles. This asteroid, similar in size to an airplane, is hurtling towards our planet at a speed of 27,287 kilometers per hour.   (NASA)
3/6 Asteroid 2023 JE5: Another airplane-sized asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of 4.2 million miles on June 4. Asteroid 2023 JE5 is 110-foot space rock that is hurtling toward Earth at a blistering 28713 kmph.  (Pixabay)
4/6 Asteroid 2023 KW2: A monstrous 200-foot asteroid will be making its closest approach to Earth on June 6. It will come as close as 2.82 million miles, according to NASA's JPL. The asteroid is moving at a blistering speed of 36351 kilometers per hour toward Earth.  (Pixabay)
image caption
5/6 Asteroid 2018 KR: This is a house-sized asteroid which is a 59-foot wide space rock that is set to make an uncomfortably close approach towards Earth on June 7. It is speeding at a fiery 17554 kmph. It will be just 1.54 million miles away from Earth at its closest point. (Pixabay)
6/6 Thankfully, none of these asteroids has been dubbed as potentially hazardous. According to NASA, an asteroid larger than about 150 meters that can approach the Earth to within 4.6 million miles is termed a potentially hazardous object. However, NASA's Planetary Science Division, NEOWISE harvests measurements of asteroids and comets to determine the potential risk in advance to avoid any mishaps.  (NASA)
icon View all Images
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory snapped the galaxy group NGC 4839.

Change is a constant and that happens on the tiny scale of a human being to those of the biggest galaxies in the world. Now, NASA has detected a group of galaxies plunging into the Coma galaxy cluster, but the significant part is that it is leaving behind the longest known tail of superheated gas behind a galaxy group ever found.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory snapped the galaxy group NGC 4839. First, know what a galaxy group is as opposed to galaxy cluster. Galaxy groups are collections of about 50 galaxies or less and galaxy clusters can contain hundreds or thousands of galaxies.

Both of these are enveloped by huge amounts of superheated pools of gas. They represent a significant portion of the mass in galaxy groups or clusters.

Galaxy group NGC 4839 is located near the edge of the Coma galaxy cluster and it is moving toward the center of the Coma galaxy cluster. In the process, the hot gas in the galaxy group is stripped away by its collision with gas in the cluster. This results in a tail forming behind the galaxy group.

The image on the left shows an X-ray view of the Coma galaxy cluster taken with ESA's (European Space Agency's) XMM-Newton (blue), along with optical data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (yellow). The galaxy group NGC 4839 is located in the lower right of that image. The inset on the right is the Chandra image (purple) of the region outlined by the square. The head of NGC 4839's tail is on the left side of the Chandra image and contains the brightest galaxy in the group and the densest gas. The tail trails to the right.

This tail is, in fact, 1.5 million light-years long, making it the longest tail ever seen trailing behind a group of galaxies.

The gas in the tail behind NGC 4839 will ultimately merge with the large amount of hot gas already present in the Coma Cluster.

Using the Chandra data, it was found that NGC 4839 is traveling at about 3 million miles per hour through the galaxy cluster.

Researchers looking at earlier observations of NGC 4839 had estimated its tail to be at least one million light-years long. The new Chandra data reveals the new record-holding 1.5 million light-years length.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 06 Jun, 22:41 IST