A Spiral Meets its End



Image Credit & Copyright: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the Hubble Heritage Team.

Upon initial inspection of this image you may conclude that this galaxy is spinning so fast that it’s literally venting stars and material out into the surrounding cosmos; spinning like a buzz saw as it makes its way through the region. The truth to this image is in fact just as terrifying if you happen to be one of its inhabitants.

This galaxy, NGC 4911 is located about 320 million light years away (and receding at 8000 km/s) in the constellation Coma Berenices and it resides in the massive galaxy cluster known as the Coma Cluster. If you remove the ghostly outskirts, the “meat” of this galaxy looks pretty normal. You can clearly see the spiral shape to the structure along with vast bands of gas and dust lacing those active arms.

Let’s take a moment and…

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Author: rjbailey

"I have no idea what I'm doing, but I know I'm doing it really, really well." - Andy Dwyer

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