Destruction of a galaxy, 2003.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
The irregular galaxy NGC 1427A, under the gravitational grasp of a large gang of galaxies called the Fornax cluster, plunges headlong into the group at 600 km/sec or nearly 400 mi/sec. The Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys was used to obtain images of NGC 1427A in visible (green), red, and infrared filters in January 2003. NGC 1427A will not survive long as an identifiable galaxy passing through the cluster. Within the next billion years, it will be completely disrupted, spilling its stars and remaining gas into intergalactic space within the Fornax cluster.