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iSGTW Image of the week - The tadpole galaxy

Image of the week -The Tadpole Galaxy


Like its terrestrial counterparts, the Tadpole Galaxy will probably lose its tail as it grows older.
Image courtesy of Tom Jarrett and the SWIRE team

Four hundred and twenty million light years from Earth there is a tadpole-shaped galaxy, with a tail of stars that stretches across about 280 thousand light years.

This Tadpole Galaxy earned its tail after colliding with a neighboring galaxy.

Data leading to the discovery of the Tadpole Galaxy came from the Spitzer Wide-area InfraRed Extragalactic survey, a project which imaged nearly 50 square degrees-the equivalent of the area of 250 full moons-across six different regions of the sky.

The project used infrared radiation to detect more than two million galaxies, some of them over 11 billion light years away.

To process these many thousands of optical observations en masse, the SWIRE team employed astronomical image mosiac engine Montage, a grid-based application that uses workflow and data technologies to deliver science-grade mosaics of the sky.

Montage was funded by NASA's Earth Science Technology Office, Computation Technologies Project as part of an agreement between NASA and the California Institute of Technology.

Montage 3.0 is now available for download.

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