The Comet Galaxy, a spiral galaxy located 3.2 billion light-years from Earth, in the galaxy cluster Abell 2667, was found with the Hubble Space Telescope. This galaxy has slightly more mass than our Milky Way. It was detected on 2 March 2007.
This unique spiral galaxy, which is situated 3.2 billion light-years from the Earth, has an extended stream of bright blue knots and diffuse wisps of young stars. It rushes at 3.5 million km/h through the cluster Abell 2667 and therefore, like a comet, shows a tail, with a length of 600,000 light-years.
The Сomet Galaxy is currently being ripped to pieces, moving through a cluster at speeds of greater than 2 million mph. As the galaxy speeds through, its gas and stars are being stripped away by the tidal forces exerted by the cluster. Also contributing to this destructive process is the pressure of the cluster's hot gas plasma reaching temperatures as high as 100 million degrees. Scientists estimate that the total duration of the transformation process is close to one billion years. What is seen now in the Hubble's image is roughly 200 million years into the process. Even though the Comet Galaxy's mass is slightly greater than the Milky Way, it will lose all its gas and dust, and so not be able to generate stars later in life. It will become a gas-poor galaxy with an old population of red stars.
During the ram pressure stripping process, the charged particles strip and push away the infalling galaxy's gas, just as the solar wind of charged particles pushes ionized gas away from a comet to create a gas tail. For this reason the scientists have nicknamed the stretched spiral the "comet galaxy."
"This unique galaxy, situated 3.2 billion light-years from Earth, has an extended stream of bright blue knots and diffuse wisps of young stars driven away by the tidal forces and the ram pressure stripping of the hot dense gas," said Jean-Paul Kneib, a study collaborator from the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille.
Statistics for this Xoptio
Most beautiful Galaxy 50
% Not particular beautiful
I like it 50
% Nothing to say
Would like to go some day 50
% Might not exist any more