Skip to content

DRAMATIC DEATH IN SPACE - Astronomers watch as an entire galaxy bleeds to death before their eyes

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/6/2014 (3 years 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 (3 years 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.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


More Technology

Young Russian genius says Martians are real and here's where we can find the proof! Watch

Image of According to Kipriyanovich, the Great Pyramid of Giza holds a secret from Mars that can change the world. Researchers recently discovered a hidden room in the pyramid.

A young Russian man is sticking to his story that he first told as a child. Boriska Kipriyanovich, 20, claims he once lived on Mars and ... continue reading


Pope Francis' call to the International Space Station shows there is no conflict between the faith and science (Full Transcript) Watch

Image of Pope Francis listened attentively to what each astronaut had to say.

Pope Francis spoke with the crew of the International Space Station on Thursday. The Holy Father asked each of the crew how the experience ... continue reading


Planet Niburu: What's going to happen on September 23? Watch

Image of Is planet Niburu real? And does it pose a threat to Earth?

September 23 is a worrisome date for millions of people who believe that a massive planet will affect the Earth as it passes by in space. ... continue reading


Scientists plan to phone E.T. at home, but it could be a bad idea. Here's why Watch

Image of Scientists plan to starts calling nearby planets at the end of 2018.

Scientists plan to send a signal into deep space to see if aliens are out there. However, experts warn we could endanger humanity by doing ... continue reading


Cassini's reward for 13 years of service is a fiery death. Here's why Watch

Image of A NASA rendition of Cassini's final dive in Saturn.

Goodbye to Cassini, the space probe that was launched in 1997 and spent six years travelling, and over thirteen years exploring Saturn and ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

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

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.