A Galaxy with a Tail


A long thread of hydrogen is being stripped from the spiral galaxy D100 as it drawn toward the center of the giant Coma galaxy cluster. This wide view is a composite of images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. The narrow red streamer of hydrogen gas flowing from the galaxy’s center extends for nearly 200,000 light-years, but it is quite narrow–only 7,000 light-years wide. The tail’s clean edges and smooth structure suggests that it’s being held together by magnetic fields.

The Coma cluster is located 330 million light-years from Earth.

Image Credits: NASA / ESA / M. Sun (University of Alabama) / W. Cramer and J. Kenney (Yale University) / M. Yagi (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)

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