Elliptical galaxies show new star birth!
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured some new images of NGC 4150 which astronomers noted different observations from the past – new life!
NGC 4150 is one of the elliptical galaxies thought to have consumed all their gases to make new stars.
The image shows otherwise and reveal streamers of dust and gas and clumps of young, blue stars that are believed to be less than a billion years old rotate with the galaxy. Observers took some images of the core of NGC 4150, taken in near-ultraviolet light with the sharp-eyed Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and saw such astonishing revelation.
According to NASA report, evidence shows that the star birth was sparked by a merger with a dwarf galaxy. The Hubble images reveal turbulent activity deep inside the galaxy’s core.
"Elliptical galaxies were thought to have made all of their stars billions of years ago," says astronomer Mark Crockett of the University of Oxford, leader of the Hubble observations. "They had consumed all their gas to make new stars. Now we are finding evidence of star birth in many elliptical galaxies, fueled mostly by cannibalizing smaller galaxies. These observations support the theory that galaxies built themselves up over billions of years by collisions with dwarf galaxies," Crockett continues. "NGC 4150 is a dramatic example in our galactic back yard of a common occurrence in the early universe."
Based on Hubble analysis of stars’ colors, the star formation started about a billion years ago and the galaxy’s star-making factory has slowed down since then.
Crocket and his team however observed that most massive stars are already gone and that the youngest stars are between 50 million and 300 to 400 million years old. They also believe that the star birth came from a merger with a small, gas-rich galaxy around one billion years ago which had the capability to fuel the star formation.