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Hubble Space Telescope sees spiral of star formation in neighboring galaxy


NASA’s venerable space telescope has spotted stars and gas spiraling towards the heart of a massive, curiously shaped stellar nursery in the nearby Small Magellanic Cloud.

Astronomers think that the outer arm of this spiral of stars and gas could be providing a river-like flow of gas that is fueling star formation in the stellar nursery, called NGC 346, seen in the newly released image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. The discovery could provide important clues of how stars were born when the 13.8 billion-year-old galaxy was just a few billion years old and was undergoing a stellar “baby boom” of intense star formation.





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