National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Hubble Space Telescope captured a galaxy resembling a jellyfish over 800 million light-years away, in the constellation Pegasus.
"A "jellyfish" galaxy, JW100, is seen in the lower right of this image from @NASAHubble. The streams of star-forming gas dripping from the disk of the galaxy resemble dangling tentacles, earning the galaxy its aquatic moniker," NASA wrote in the caption of the post.
Take a look below:
According to a NASA press note, Ram pressure stripping occurs when galaxies encounter the diffuse gas that pervades galaxy clusters. As galaxies plow through this tenuous gas, it acts like a headwind, stripping gas and dust from the galaxy and creating the trailing streamers that prominently adorn JW100. The bright elliptical patches in the image are other galaxies in the cluster that hosts JW100.
Toward the top of this image are two bright blotches surrounded by a remarkably bright area of diffuse light. This is the core of IC 5338, the brightest galaxy in the galaxy cluster. IC 5338 is an elliptical galaxy with an extended halo, a type of galaxy called a cD galaxy. These galaxies likely grow by consuming smaller galaxies, so it's not unusual for them to have multiple nuclei since it can take a long time for their cores to be absorbed. The bright points of light studding the galaxy's outer fringes are a rich population of globular star clusters.
This observation took advantage of Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 and its capabilities. The data is part of a sequence of observations designed to explore star formation in the tendrils of jellyfish galaxies. These tendrils represent star formation under extreme conditions and could help astronomers better understand the process of star formation elsewhere in the universe.
NASA shared the image on Monday. In the comment section, one user wrote, "Space is so dope." Another user added, "Amazing view."