Scientists have recently discovered a cosmic phenomenon that they have never seen before — an interstellar corpse known as a “Tasmanian devil” — in the Milky Way galaxy.
The ‘Tasmanian devil’ is a mixed-up collection of stars and gas that were born together, then were ripped apart by the enormous gravitational forces of a passing galaxy. This left the star remains to stretch out in an arc as they floated in the space between galaxies.
Researchers used the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to study the “Tasmanian devil” and its properties in the constellation of Pisces. The pattern of its dispersed stars revealed a formation of structure previously unseen by astronomers.
The study offers an unprecedented perspective on the gravitational forces of passing galaxies and of the galaxies themselves, which can have a powerful influence on their surrounding environment. The results of the research should help inform astronomers’ understanding of how galaxies evolve.