GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has captured images of two spiral galaxies, which are collectively known as Arp 303. Individually, they are called IC 563 (bottom) and IC 564 (top) are more than 275 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Sextans. The image used data from two separate Hubble observations of Arp 303.

What

  1. The first observation used data from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3 to study the pair’s star-forming regions in infrared light.
  2. Galaxies like IC 563 and IC 564 are very bright at infrared light wavelengths and they host many bright star-forming regions.
  3. The second observation used Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) to take quick looks at bright interesting galaxies across the sky.
  4. These new observations filled gaps in Hubble’s archive as it looks for promising candidates that Hubble, the James Webb Telescope, and other telescopes could study further.
  5. Stars are formed from the clouds of dust and gas scattered throughout most galaxies.
  6. Turbulence within these clouds gives rise to “knots” with sufficient mass that the gas and dust begin to collapse under their own gravitational attraction. As these clouds collapse, the material at their centre begins to heat up.
  7. This hot core at the heart of the collapsing clouds is called a protostar, and will eventually become a star.
  8. Computer models of star formation predict that the spinning clouds of collapsing gas and dust may break up into two or three blobs.
  9. This could explain why a majority of the stars in the Milky Way are paired or in groups of multiple stars.