Hubble Sees a Merged Galaxy

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Hubble imaged ESO 185-IG013 in ultraviolet, visible, and infrared wavelengths to reveal details about its past. Hundreds of young star clusters, many of which are younger than 100 million years, populate the galaxy. A large number of star clusters are only 3.5 million years old – relative infants compared to the timescale of our universe. Scientists predict that many of these youngest clusters will not last, since young clusters can often perish after expelling too much of their gas. The large number of young star clusters indicates that this galaxy was part of a recent galaxy collision and merger. The perturbed structure of the galaxy, which likely occurred from the violent interactions of gas and dust during the collision, is another sign. The merger supplied the system with lots of fuel for star formation, which continues to take place today.

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