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Cartwheel Galaxy Region

Cartwheel Galaxy Region


Depicts: The Cartwheel Galaxy, IRAS 00352-3359
Copyright: Curt Struck and Philip Appleton (Iowa State University), Kirk Borne(Hughes STX Corporation), and Ray Lucas (Space Telescope Science Institute), and NASA

The Cartwheel's nucleus is shown in this Hubble Space Telescope color-coded image. The comet-like knots of gas are mostly confined to the core's left side. They are the blue knots arranged in a semi-circular pattern around the center of the nucleus. The "heads" are a few hundred light-years across; the tails are more than 1,000 light-years long, the longest of which is nearly 5,000 light-years.

The structures look like comets because they probably were spawned by a collision between high-speed and slower-moving material. This collision created an arrowhead-shaped pattern called a bow shock, which is similar to the wake of a boat speeding across a lake.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
3-Dec-2021 20:15 UT

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