Galactic Cannibalism

Susan just pointed me to a horrifying Yahoo news report about a recently witnessed act of galactic cannibalism. In short, the Hubble Space Telescope got an upgrade, allowing astronomers to watch helplessly as a viscious galaxy known as "the Tadpole" gobbles up a smaller, defenseless galaxy.

Read on for the full Yahoo news article.

A big galaxy is gobbling a tiny one, just as astronomers have long suspected, and for the first time there is photographic evidence of this kind of galactic cannibalism, snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope (news - web sites). The orbiting telescope captured the image of the gorging galaxy as part of a much larger picture of a long-tailed galaxy that has become known as the Tadpole (shown here). This photo was one of the first to be released last year after a new advanced camera was installed aboard Hubble. The Tadpole dominates the image, but the second-brightest object is a massive spiral galaxy seen in the lower left corner, with an apparent companion nearby that is seemingly linked to the bigger galaxy. U.S. and Australian astronomers were intrigued by this mismatched pair of cosmic objects, and used the Hubble and the Keck Telescope in Hawaii, which was able to show plumes of stars streaming away from the dwarf galaxy's heart toward the big galaxy, to confirm that this was a case of a dominant galaxy feeding on a much smaller dwarf galaxy. ONE OF TWO IMAGES, SEE WAS81 REUTERS/NASA (news - web sites)-Handout NO SALES
The site also includes a picture of the grissly cannibalistic act.

Share this Page:



Share this page with family and friends…even complete strangers. It's up to you. Whatever floats your boat.

Click the icon below to select the method of sharing.



Browse the archives »