Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Can galaxies die? You bet. Here's one literally being murdered by gravity.

Astronomers are watching the horrifying destruction of an entire galaxy occurring about 200 million light-years away. The fate of this galaxy could be shared by ours in the ages to come.

Streamers of blue gas are bleeding away from galaxy ESO 137-001 as gravity shreds it.

Streamers of blue gas are bleeding away from galaxy ESO 137-001 as gravity shreds it.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: ESO 137-001, galaxy, great attractor, abell, cluster, death, pictures


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It is understood that stars die and destroy their planets. Likewise, stars themselves are sometimes destroyed by black holes if they happen to come near one. However, the destruction of an entire galaxy, ripped apart by an incredible gravitational force is an exceptionally rare occurrence.

The scale is nearly unprecedented. While astronomers have witnessed the destruction of stars, the destruction of galaxies is rare. Even when galaxies collide, as they sometimes do, they are not destroyed. However, in the case of galaxy ESO 137-001, gravity is literally shredding the galaxy before our eyes.

St. Dominic de Guzman, patron saint of astronomers.


ESO 137-001 is located in the southern constellation of Triangulum Australe, and it lies in the heart of a cluster of galaxies known as the Norma Cluster. The Norma Cluster is passing near galaxy cluster Abel 3627. Astronomers believe this is the immediate cause of the galaxy's destruction. As the two clusters come together, the larger cluster, Abell, is shredding the closest outside galaxy, which happens to be ESO 137-001.

Our Milky Way Galaxy is similar, in that it too resides in a cluster, known as the Local Group. And there's another frightening thing our galaxy cluster shares with the others -- both our Local Group, the Norma Cluster, and Abell 3627 are being pulled into the maw of the Great Attractor.

The what?

The Great Attractor is eerily described as "a gravitational anomaly" by astronomers. We don't know what it is because we cannot see the region of space it occupies as stars and dust in the Milky Way Galaxy obscure our view. However, we know it is there because all of the galaxies in that region of space as moving towards it. There is no question that something is pulling everything in our region of space towards itself.

Astronomers speculate that it may be a massive galaxy cluster, which we are simply unable to see. Whatever it is, it's pulling entire galaxy clusters towards itself and as those clusters get closer to one another in space, they interact gravitationally.

In this case, ESO 137-001 is being pulled apart by Abell 3627 while everything in that region of space is pulled closer to the Great Attractor.

Images captured with the Hubble Space Telescope show streamers of gas, glowing blue, and in X-rays, heated to a temperature of about 180 million degrees Fahrenheit. These streamers of gas are literally the guts of the victim galaxy being pulled away and towards the Abell cluster. That gas is literally the lifeblood of the galaxy.

Without that gas, the galaxy cannot form new stars and without new stars, the galaxy will eventually die within several billion years or less.

In this composite image from NASA, you can see the gas streaming across tens of thousands of light y

In this composite image from NASA, you can see the gas streaming across tens of thousands of light years away from ESO 137-001. That gas is the literal lifeblood of the galaxy.


The fate of galaxy ESO 137-001 is a fate that our galaxy may share as our own cluster, the Local Group, is pulled closer towards the Great Attractor. Of course, humanity will probably be long gone before that happens, unless we are very good at expanding our species well beyond Earth, but that remains the stuff of science fiction.

Of more immediate use is our study of how gravity works on a massive scale. Astronomers have even noticed that ESO 137-001 is being bent by the gravitational forces affecting it.

Astronomers are also using the galaxy as study in fluid dynamics and how ram pressure, the force felt by an object as it moves through a fluid, works. These studies have immediate application on Earth and are an example of how seemingly esoteric astronomical studies can actually yield immediate benefits to everyday life on Earth.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Technology

'Part plane, part helicopter' world's largest aircraft, Airlander 10 begins ready for first flight Watch

Image of Unlike conventional airplanes, the Airlander creates negligible pollution and is not noisy enough to disturb people on the ground.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Described as "part plane and part helicopter," the 300-foot long Airlander 10 is readying for its inaugural flight. Originally developed for military use by the U.S. Army, construction on the craft took three years. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Airlander ... continue reading


Technology helps brain damaged musician create music for the first time in 27 years Watch

Image of Rosemary Johnson suffered brain damage and was unable to play her violin - until now (Plymouth University).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After a car crash that left her with a serious brain injury, violinist Rosemary Johnson was unable to play her beautiful music again - until now. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Telegraph, Johnson's accident put her in a 7-month coma and left her ... continue reading


Missile to smash incoming nuclear weapons successfully tested in California Watch

Image of Much work remains to be done, as Lockheed martin, Boeing, and Raytheon are working on different parts of the redesign. Photo courtesy Zuma/Shutterstock/REX.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

While people packed movie theaters to see the latest installment of the "Star Wars" saga, an example of former president Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" missile defense project was successfully tested over the skies of Central California. The "Exoatmospheric Kill ... continue reading


Is a world without car crashes possible? Volvo says so! Watch

Image of A world without traffic fatalities or accidents? Volvo says that's as close as the year 20202. Photo courtesy of Volvo.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Can anyone truly imagine a futuristic world where there are no traffic accidents and no traffic fatalities? Swedish carmaker Volvo is making that bold claim, and that world is as close as the year 2020. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Volvo representatives ... continue reading


Caltech astronomers locate orbit of Planet X, but no planet -- yet Watch

Image of The orbit of Planet X has been inferred from how it affects other bodies, in the distant solar system.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have concluded that a ninth planet orbits the Sun, and it is very likely to be large, but extremely distant. Their conclusions are based on its influence on other objects far beyond the orbit of Neptune. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Two Caltech ... continue reading


Scientist develops method to manipulate gravity. Are gravity weapons next?! Watch

Image of Gravity occurs naturally and is bent by massive objects. But what if we developed the means to create gravity ourselves, turning it off and on?

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A scientist has developed a method to manipulate gravity, at least theoretically. Furthermore, we could accomplish his vision using existing technology. Such a breakthrough could eventually lead to large-scale manipulation of gravity, but to what effect? LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Flushless, futuristic toilet recycles waste to produce fresh water Watch

Image of Nanotechnology is the science of creating and working with materials about one nanometer wide, or one-billionth of a meter.

By Magdalena Mis, Thomson Reuters Foundation

A toilet that does not need water, a sewage system, or external power but instead uses nanotechnology to treat human waste, produce clean water, and keep smells at bay is being developed by a British university. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The ... continue reading


You won't believe your eyes! World's first drone can fly itself -and you Watch

Image of The EHang 184 was formally introduced at this year's Consumer Electronic Show (Steven Tweedie/Business Insider).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The EHang 184 was unveiled at this year's Consumer Electronic Show and is the world's first self-driving electrical aerial vehicle. It is designed to fly individuals short distances at low altitudes without the necessity for its passenger to control it. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


STICKER SHOCK! Oculus Rift arrives, why you'll need to buy flowers to use it Watch

Image of Oculus Rift costs $599, which means you'll need to buy flowers for your spouse before you can strap the headset on for some serious gaming.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Virtual reality arrived in the mainstream consumer market today, but the sticker shock has many gasping for their breath, and clutching their wallets. The much anticipated Oculus Rift headset opened for preorders today and will ship in late March and Early April. ... continue reading


We won't survive the robot revolution with $15/hr jobs Watch

Image of The first prototypes are already built--and working flawlessly. It's just a matter of adoption now.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Within just two decades, most of our jobs will be taken over by robots. What will happen as the world undergoes the biggest economic shift since the industrial revolution? There are two possibilities, but the time to choose is now. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 30:15-20
15 'Look, today I am offering you life and prosperity, death and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked and does not ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:22-25
22 He said, 'The Son of man is destined to suffer grievously, to be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 11th, 2016 Image

St. Paschal
February 11: Paschal was the son of Bonosus, a Roman. He ... Read More