[Hubble Telescope image of "Jellyfish Galaxy" shared by NASA on Instagram @nasa.]
Washington: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released a stunning photograph of a spiral galaxy located 220 million light-years from Earth.
The image of the galaxy, which is also known as the "jellyfish galaxy" and also labelled as JW39, was captured by Hubble Space Telescope a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency.
"This spiral galaxy, found 220 million light-years from Earth, is known as a "jellyfish" galaxy because of the blue ribbons of stars that trail from it like cosmic tentacles," NASA wrote in the caption sharing the image of social media site Instagram.
"When viewed in X-ray light, though, an even longer tail of hot gas emerges which extends across 260,000 light-years of space-shown here in purplish-blue with data from @NASAChandraXRay," it added.
The US space agency said that the newly-forming stars in the tail of the "jellyfish galaxy" are a mystery to astronomers.
"Galaxies that live in a cluster tend to stop forming new stars sooner than galaxies outside of clusters," NASA explained.
The "jellyfish" galaxy in the cluster is getting pulled in by the cluster's gravity which causes the gas to act like wind and can remove the gas and dust in a process called "ram pressure stripping", NASA said.
Since galaxies need gas to form stars, this will then slow the process of star formation, the space agency said.
"A bright blue light, encircled by translucent blue swirls, rockets toward the upper left of the image, leaving two long blue ribbons of young stars dangling from the galaxy's disk like cosmic tentacles. Set against a black background of space packed with gleaming stars, clusters of blue gas and stars appear to travel with the galaxy alongside the flowing tails," NASA wrote while explaining the picture.
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