Big Galaxy Swallows Little Galaxy

Astronomers find a convincing case of a large galaxy caught in the act of eating a smaller one.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM August 19, 2003

It's hard to imagine being so hungry that you'd eat another person. Yet, cannibalism occurs among animals and elsewhere in nature. Even galaxies do it.

Now, scientists have captured one of the best images yet of a distant galaxy in the act of swallowing a smaller neighbor. The discovery supports the theory that galaxies grow by consuming each other.

Hubble image shows plumes of stars (purple in inset) being cannibalized by a large spiral galaxy (large white area in inset and arrow in main image). Tadpole galaxy is upper-left in main image. The spiral galaxy and its dwarf satellite lie about 2 billion

Hubble image shows plumes of stars (purple in inset) being cannibalized by a large spiral galaxy (large white area in inset and arrow in main imag...

Source URL: https://student.societyforscience.org/article/big-galaxy-swallows-little-galaxy