JUN 30, 2016 10:10 AM PDT

Hubble Spots Uncommon 'Tadpole' Galaxy Out in the Distance

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

There are lots of different galaxy formations out there, with spiral being the most common due of the forces of gravity, but others like elliptical and irregular are formed under certain gravitational situations where a spiral would have been disrupted.
 
These aren’t the only formations however, there are also many others. One that we don’t hear of very often is a tadpole formation, and NASA says that their Hubble Space Telescope has just snapped an image of a rare tadpole galaxy dubbed LEDA 36252 or Kiso 5639.
 

Hubble spotted this tadpole galaxy, a formation that is very uncommon in our universe.

 Image Credit: NASA/ESA

The image was created using a variety of light spectrums, including H-alpha, infrared, optical, and ultraviolet and combining them together to create as detailed of a representation as possible.
 
The galaxy is noted to be about 2.7 kiloparsecs in diameter, which makes it significantly smaller than the 30 kiloparsecs of our Milky Way galaxy, and it is said to rotate at about 35-40 kilometers per second.
 
What makes a tadpole galaxy unique is the way it looks. There is a denser and brighter part of the galaxy (known as the head) that is trailed by a much dimmer part (known as the body) such that it actually looks just how you would expect it to – like a tadpole.
 
In the ‘head’ of the galaxy, much of the matter is made up of brighter, younger stars, as well as hydrogen gas with the mass of about 10,000 of our Suns put together.
 
The ‘body’ is more comprised of older material and smaller star clusters than the head, but has tons of blue stars in its composition.
 
There is also reportedly visible evidence of regions in the galaxy where supernova explosions have left gaping holes in the galaxy’s formation.
 
Tadpole galaxies are so rare that in a sample study of 10,000 galaxies, you would be hard-pressed to find about 20 of them in that sample study.
 
The European Space Agency notes that they most commonly occur in clusters of galaxies with lower metallicities, which means they’re lower in metallic content. This suggests that they are likely galaxies from our early universe, and lack much of the mass necessary to give the galaxy its swirls caused by gravitation.
 
Hubble Space Telescope is getting old, but it proves again and again just how useful it is for space exploration. As a result, despite the upcoming launch of the bigger and badder James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble will remain in service for another five years over what was originally planned.

Source: ESA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why Do Galaxies Come in Different Shapes?
OCT 22, 2020
Why Do Galaxies Come in Different Shapes?
When looking it galaxies, it takes little to realize that they come in different shapes- whether they're swirling bl ...
NOV 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
The Mystery of the Blue Ring Nebula is Solved
NOV 22, 2020
The Mystery of the Blue Ring Nebula is Solved
In 2004, the Blue Ring Nebula was first identified. It appeared as a faint gas blob with a star at its center and was un ...
FEB 10, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Do Salt and Melting Ice Cause Landslides on Mars?
FEB 10, 2021
Do Salt and Melting Ice Cause Landslides on Mars?
Recurrent slope lineae (RSL) are dark flows that extend downhill on Mars to form sandy patterns on its surface. Research ...
FEB 20, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
FEB 20, 2021
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
NASA scientists have confirmed that their car-sized Perseverance Mars rover is 'healthy' following its arrival o ...
APR 11, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Celebrating the International Day of Human Space Flight
APR 11, 2021
Celebrating the International Day of Human Space Flight
Earth's first satellite, Sputnik I, was launched into orbit on October 4, 1957. A few years later, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagari ...
APR 21, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Zooming Back From a Black Hole
APR 21, 2021
Zooming Back From a Black Hole
The first images ever taken of a black hole were released in April 2019. The images were captured with the Event Horizon ...
Loading Comments...