Astronomers spot galaxy trailed by a plume of gas
Astronomers have spotted a galaxy trailed by a plume of gas that is more than 300,000 light-years across, five times longer than the galaxy itself.
The plume was observed to be made of hydrogen gas, which is also the composition of stars.
NGC 4569 is found in the Virgo cluster, which is 55 million light years away from the Milky Way galaxy. It’s plume was observed to be made of hydrogen gas, which is also the composition of stars.
To make the discovery, scientists used the camera on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope to discover the galactic gas trail.
Scientists were aware of the presence of the galaxy, however could not identify why the galaxy contains less gas than expected. But now they know where the most of its gas had gone.
“We didn’t have the smoking gun, the clear evidence of direct removal of gas from the galaxy. Now with these observations, we’ve seen a huge amount of gas that creates a stream trailing behind the galaxy for the first time,” said Luca Cortese, an astrophysicist from International Center for Radio Astronomy Research, who was a part of the study.
“What’s very nice is that if you measure the mass of the stream, it’s the same amount of gas that is missing from the galaxy’s disc.”