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Hubble Captures Dynamic Scenes of Star Formation in Active Galaxy IC 3476.


In this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, we explore the details of the dwarf galaxy IC 3476, offering a glimpse into the celestial wonders of our universe.

The Hubble Space Telescope’s image showcases IC 3476, a dwarf galaxy situated approximately 54 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices. Despite its outwardly serene appearance, this seemingly tranquil galaxy is, in fact, a stage for highly energetic processes. IC 3476 is currently experiencing ram pressure stripping, a phenomenon propelling remarkable levels of star formation within specific regions of the galaxy.

The intricate dance of gas and dust in space unfolds as these elements exert pressure on a galaxy in motion. The resistance, known as ram pressure, has the potential to strip a galaxy of its star-forming materials, hindering the birth of new stars. Conversely, ram pressure can compress gas in different areas, sparking an increase in star formation. In the case of IC 3476, the effects of ram pressure stripping are evident along the galaxy’s edges, devoid of star formation. However, deeper within, star formation rates defy the cosmic challenges, standing noticeably above average.

Introduction to Galaxies.

Galaxies residing in rich environments undergo diverse perturbations that shape their evolution. In dense clusters characterized by a hot and dense intergalactic medium, the hydrodynamic pressure on gas-rich members can lead to ram pressure stripping, removing gas and quenching star formation. Observable effects include long cometary tails and radially truncated gaseous discs. While extensive studies have delved into specific cases, understanding the physics and fate of stripped gas remains elusive.

The behavior varies, with some galaxies experiencing a significant reduction in overall activity, populating the green valley between star-forming and quiescent systems. Others show increased star formation activity temporarily, potentially moving above the main sequence. The fate of stripped gas varies, appearing in different phases such as cool atomic hydrogen, ionized, or hot. This complexity arises from factors like the mass and gas content of perturbed galaxies, impact parameters of infalling systems, and intergalactic medium properties.

This paragraph sets the stage for the study of IC 3476, a dwarf galaxy exhibiting signs of ongoing ram pressure stripping, within the broader context of the VESTIGE survey aimed at understanding environmental perturbations in the Virgo cluster region. Ongoing observations, including VESTIGE narrow-band imaging, ASTROSAT/UVIT far-ultraviolet imaging, and MUSE and Fabry-Perot integral field unit spectroscopy, provide a comprehensive dataset for detailed analysis and comparison with simulation predictions, contributing to our understanding of galaxy evolution in rich environments.

Surendra Uikey

My name is Surendra Uikey, I am a science blogger, I have been blogging for the past three years, because I love to write, especially on astronomy, and I believe, if you want to learn something, then start learning others, By this it will be, that you learn things in a better way. In 2019, I started, the aim of making was to connect astronomy in simple words to common people.

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