HomeAstronomyHubble Space Telescope spots protective shield

Hubble Space Telescope spots protective shield

An odd shield of supercharged gas protects dwarf galaxies from being ripped apart by the gravitational pull of the Milky Way, 30 years’ worth of observations by the Hubble Space Telescope reveal.

For years, astronomers have struggled to explain why the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two tiny galaxies orbiting the Milky Way, still form stars. The two dwarf galaxies have been orbiting our galactic home for billions of years, research suggests, during which the gravitational force of the much more massive Milky Way has been stripping gas from the two smaller galaxies, creating a trail in their wake. In theory, this gas loss should quench star birth, but the small satellite galaxies have still managed to maintain vigorous star formation.



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