In a unique space picture, Sunflower galaxy unfolds its 800 stars to Hubble Telescope, leaving many mysteries about its core formation behind. The discovery was made after NASA experts noticed a powerful heat source stemming from the center of the space formation.
The name of the galaxy comes from the sunflower-shaped center of the galaxy. However, the most intriguing aspect is that the space formation produces approximately 800 stars per year. This unique characteristic has left investigators wondering whether the star formation within the core of the galaxy is normal or not.
If analyses prove that galaxies do not normally produce so many stars, it means the Sunflower formation is as old as the universe. Another possible explanation would be that the massive galaxy is using the force of a nearby formation to give birth to so many stars.
The Sunflower galaxy would have to produce impressive amounts of gasoline in order to release 860 stars per year. For this reason, it is believed that it has collided with a smaller gas-based galaxy in the past centuries. The collision has provided the Sunflower galaxy with enough gasoline at its core to produce 800 stars per year.
This hypothesis is supported by the images that the Spitzer infrared camera has captured. Based on them, scientists have been able to identify two distinct formations, that is, the Messier 63 galaxy and the tidal tail of the smaller neighboring galaxy.
Scientists have further explained that a star-producing collision between two galaxies is called a “wet merger”. There are also cases of dry collisions in the universe, that is, explosions which do not produce new stars. Although there have been other similar discoveries made in the past, as well, scientists claim the newly found galaxy is incredibly prodigious.
Our Milky Way produces stars that amount to one solar mass per year, which makes the Sunflower Galaxy all the more difficult to understand. Researchers plan to scan the universe in search of other possible wet mergers. They will then compare their activity to better understand how wet mergers function and to establish whether they were more common during the first years of the Universe or not.
Image source: www.nasa.gov
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