Abell 3627

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Chandra X-ray
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Abell 3627: A giant cluster of galaxies about 220 million light years from Earth with galaxy ESO 137-001 plunging into it.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MSU/M.Sun et al; H-alpha/Optical: SOAR (MSU/NOAO/UNC/CNPq-Brazil)/M.Sun et al. )

Caption: This composite image shows a tail that has been created as the galaxy ESO 137-001 plunges into the galaxy cluster Abell 3627. X-rays from Chandra (blue) and optical light (white and red) from the SOAR telescope show that as the galaxy plummets, it sheds material and is forming stars behind it in a tail that stretches over 200,000 light years long. This result demonstrates that stars can form well outside of their parent galaxy.

Scale: Image is 2.8 arcmin across.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory