The Hubble Space Telescope captured the conclusion of two galaxies merging. Although the galaxies have formed millions of stars, this formation might just be one of its last.
The European Space Agency (ESA) writes that earlier during the galaxies’ merger clouds of gas within the galaxies were disturbed by the merger, “triggering an eruption of star formation”. This eruption of activity has exhausted the majority of the galactic gas, which has left the galaxies unable to create more stars. “With no future generations of stars to take their place, the galaxy thus begins a steady path of fading and quieting,” ESA writes.
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt