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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Technology

FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH? Next step in human evolution could lead to eternal youth Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Humanity's life expectancy has grown over the years, thanks to medical advances. However, this does not necessarily translate into quality of life. Living longer sometimes means living in increasingly reduced circumstances due to infirmity and old age. ... continue reading


NASA's top scientist believes signs of alien life will be discovered 'within a decade' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"I think we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years," NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan said. The proclamation was made during a panel discussion that ... continue reading


From battle weapons to photographers, drones now cleverly used as advertisement model Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over the past few years, drones have become efficient in making deliveries, serving as waiters and even doing photography on sporting events. Now, drones are starting to fly with advertisements. According Eugene Stark, founder of the company Hoovy, drones have ... continue reading


Removing human error: Planes without pilots new, viable option Watch

Image of Some advocates for air safety say that current advances in sensor technology, computing and artificial intelligence are making human pilots less necessary than ever in the cockpit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Following the Germanwings tragedy, when a distraught copilot slammed a plane into the French Alps in a suicide that cost the lives of 150 other people on board, many are questioning the validity of pilots on planes. Some argue that human pilots are in fact ... continue reading


Is Facebook changing? Facebook plans to conquer the virtual world this year Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Facebook's chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer promised that the Virtual Reality (VR) program will come into life within the year. The Oculus headset, which was on their top secret list before, was announced to be available soon, but the exact release date is not ... continue reading


Smartphones and Internet may be putting your child's mental health in jeopardy Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil

The number of young people being admitted for mental treatments since 2010 has rapidly increased. Julie Lynn Evans, a psychotherapist for over 25 years now, is grateful for the additional funding being sent into mental health services, but she believes the dilemma ... continue reading


Stealth fighter jets in U.S. set to get massive upgrades Watch

Image of Pentagon officials have stressed the importance of developing the new long-range strike bomber calling it critical to national security and nuclear deterrence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mainstay of United States military defense, stealth bombers have been around since the Seventies. The Air Force's aging fleet is now ready for an expensive makeover. The Pentagon intends to develop a high-priority, super-classified, next-generation bomber. ... continue reading


Will you say 'hello' to Barbie? Mattel's new Barbie doll is 'creeping out' parents, raising concerns of privacy Watch

Image of Hello Barbie will allow its owner to carry on a conversation through recorded audio and WiFi.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Classic toy doll, Barbie, has been reinvented after the makers, Mattel received numerous requests for a Barbie doll that kids can talk to, according to a spokesperson of the toy company. Mattel's response is WiFi connected "Hello Barbie" that comes with an installed ... continue reading


Scientists find way to eliminate inherited diseases with genetically modified human eggs Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New gene-editing techniques are being improved and could soon eliminate inherited diseases from future generations by modifying the DNA of human egg cells. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although the idea of editing chromosomes in human eggs or sperm is feared, ... continue reading


Hidden spy cameras discovered at United States post office, installation confirmed by USPIS Watch

Image of freerepublic.com

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A hidden camera disappeared just after an hour of being discovered at a Denver local post office, Fox31 Denver reported. People became alarmed that they are being watched as they drop-off their mails with the possibility of the camera collecting their facial features ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 6:8-15
8 Stephen was filled with grace and power and began ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30
23 Though princes sit plotting against me, your ... Read More

Gospel, John 6:22-29
22 Next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 20th, 2015 Image

St. Marian
April 20: When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter