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Jellyfish galaxy plowing its way through the intercluster medium

Jellyfish galaxy plowing through the intercluster medium
Click for original image.

The European Space Agency (ESA) today released another in a series of images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope during the past two years of what astronomers call jellyfish galaxies, so named because such galaxies have tendrils that extend out beyond the galaxy like the tendrils of jellyfish. This new picture is to the right, cropped, reduced, and sharpened to post here, and shows a galaxy about 900 million light years away.

[T]he space between galaxies in a cluster is … pervaded with a searingly hot plasma known as the intracluster medium. While this plasma is extremely tenuous, galaxies moving through it experience it almost like swimmers fighting against a current, and this interaction can strip galaxies of their star-forming gas. This interaction between the intracluster medium and the galaxies is called ram-pressure stripping, and is the process responsible for the trailing tendrils of this jellyfish galaxy.

The arrow in the image indicates the galaxy’s direction of travel through the intercluster medium, resulting in the outer parts of the leading arm to be pushed backward above the galaxy, while material at its rear trail behind. Note also the blue star-forming regions at the galaxy’s bow. The ram pressure is also apparently causing more star formation in this part of the galaxy compared to elsewhere.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Alex Andrite

    ~900 million beautiful light years away.

    900 Million. LIGHT YEARS.

    I wonder where it is now.

    oh well, back to my bbq.

  • Andi

    “I wonder where it is now”

    Einstein had some interesting arguments regarding simultaneity, and could claim that where it is now is where it was then.

  • I hate that simultaneity argument. I can’t prove it wrong, but it _feels_ so very wrong. There is a universal “now”! I insist upon it!

    Perhaps a better way of phrasing the question: If one were going to send a probe there (at say 0.25c), where would one aim said probe?

  • markedup2

    Yes, it would be pointless. By the time it got there, wherever “there” might be, it’s entirely likely that human – and even post-human – civilization would have ended. Let alone by the time any information got back to “us”.

  • Star Bird

    The Jupiter 2 is still out there so is the Doomsday Machine

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