When NASA sets its sights on a distant galaxy, there are often many things to consider. Even if it appears to be just a diminished blob, researchers can often combine various observations to determine the size and shape of the galaxy. Normally, they are there, sitting in space, creating new stars and doing the other things the galaxies do. But a recent snapshot of a galaxy known as WISE J224607.55-052634.9 is special.
Originally discovered a few years ago, new observations of the galaxy by the ALMA range in Chile show that the galaxy actually eats its neighbors. From our point of view, the galaxy destroys altogether three smaller galaxies, removing the material on them with gravitational traction.
NASA says WISE J224607.55-052634.9 is considered the "brightest" galaxy, and this new observation explains why.
The extremely glowing galaxy is not a recording interruption in terms of size, why is it so brilliant? Scientists believe the galaxy essentially steals "fuel" to feed its energy from three neighboring galaxies. Because serious gravity sucks material from the triangle of smaller galaxies, the larger central body continues to give rise to new stars, causing gas and debris to overheat around the black hole in its heart.
The researchers had a suspicion that the incredibly bright galaxy had some neighbors, but had no idea of actually feeding on them. Their work was published in the journal Science.
"We know from previous data that there were three companion galaxies, but there was no evidence of interaction between these neighbors and the central source," said Tanio Diaz-Santos, lead author of the study. "We were not looking for cannibalistic behavior and we did not expect, but this deep dive with the ALMA observer makes it very clear."
WISE J224607.55-052634.9 You may be hungry, but you do not have to worry about the fact that our Milky Way will turn into a victim of her anger ways. The galaxy is estimated at 12.4 billion light years on earth.