Featured Image: Mapping Out Gas in a Jellyfish Tail

Feeling jelly? This detailed image (click for a wider view) reveals the molecular gas in the long tail of the jellyfish galaxy ESO 137-001. In this image, red emission is molecular gas newly detected with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), green shows MUSE Hα emission, and the background image (blue, green, and red) shows the galaxy as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. This jellyfish galaxy is located 220 million light-years away in the Norma galaxy cluster, and its tail is caused by ram pressure stripping — the stripping of its gas as the galaxy falls through the surrounding intracluster medium, the material that lies in the space between galaxies. In a new publication led by Pavel Jáchym (Astronomical Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences), astronomers present ALMA’s unprecedented high-resolution maps of this jellyfish galaxy’s molecular-gas tail and show how this helps us to understand star formation in these dynamic, intense environments. To learn more about star formation in cosmic jellyfish (and to view the full original image), check out the article below.


“ALMA Unveils Widespread Molecular Gas Clumps in the Ram Pressure Stripped Tail of the Norma Jellyfish Galaxy,” Pavel Jáchym et al 2019 ApJ 883 145. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab3e6c