Outer Space Fight! One Galaxy Gets Its Arm Ripped Off By Others. Call Mom!

Source: Hubblesite / Enlarge.

Yo! You think you had it rough in the school yard? Bully whup your ass? Yeah kid, you could have had it worse! Ask NGC 1911. This poor son of a bitch galaxy is having its arms ripped off by neighboring galaxies. Quit your bitchin’!


NGC 4911 and other spirals near the center of the cluster are being transformed by the gravitational tug of their neighbors. In the case of NGC 4911, wispy arcs of the galaxy’s outer spiral arms are being pulled and distorted by forces from a companion galaxy (NGC 4911A), to the upper right. The resultant stripped material will eventually be dispersed throughout the core of the Coma Cluster, where it will fuel the intergalactic populations of stars and star clusters.

The Coma Cluster is home to almost 1,000 galaxies, making it one of the densest collections of galaxies in the nearby universe. It continues to transform galaxies at the present epoch, due to the interactions of close-proximity galaxy systems within the dense cluster. Vigorous star formation is triggered in such collisions

Galactic insanity! And holy frak, the Coma Cluster is ridiculous. 1,000 galaxies? That’s got to be an interstellar condo-complex enough to make any aspiring slum lord hot.