Hubble Interacting Galaxies String of Pearls
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured 12 interacting galaxies with long, tadpole-like tidal tails of gas, dust, and stars that resemble a string of pearls. More specifically, the tails contain 425 clusters of newborn stars, with each one consisting of as many as 1-million of them.


Hubble Interacting Galaxies String of Pearls
Clusters in tidal tails have been studied for decades, as when galaxies interact, gravitational tidal forces pull out long streamers of gas and dust. They look like as if someone is taking a galaxy’s spiral arm and stretching them out into space, with the exterior part getting pulled like taffy from the gravitational tug-of-war between interacting galaxies.

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It’s a surprise to see lots of the young objects in the tails. It tells us a lot about cluster formation efficiency. With tidal tails, you will build up new generations of stars that otherwise might not have existed,” said Michael Rodruck, Lead Author from the Randolph-Macon College.