In this captivating image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, the jellyfish galaxy JO175 appears to hover gracefully. Residing in the constellation Telescopium, this distant galaxy is located over 650 million light-years away from Earth. Thanks to the remarkable clarity of Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, we can marvel at its intricate details. Peering into the scene, we can spot a few more galaxies lurking in the background, while a brilliant four-pointed star shines brightly towards the lower right.
Jellyfish galaxies acquire their peculiar name from the wispy trails of gas and dust that resemble the tentacles of their aquatic counterparts. These luminous tendrils are adorned with clusters of actively forming stars, rendering jellyfish galaxies truly eye-catching. Interestingly, these extraordinary galaxies dwell within galaxy clusters, where the feeble but scorching plasma enveloping the clusters pulls out the distinctive tendrils of the jellyfish galaxies.
Recently, Hubble embarked on an in-depth exploration of jellyfish clusters, specifically focusing on the star-forming clusters of gas and dust adorning their tendrils. By studying the origin and destiny of stars within these clusters, astronomers aimed to gain insights into the fundamental processes governing star formation across the universe. Fascinatingly, their research indicates that star formation within galactic disks shares similarities with the extreme conditions observed within the tendrils of jellyfish galaxies.