NASA plans to study a strange, shimmering ‘jellyfish’ galaxy using its James Webb Space Telescope when it officially launches in 2021. Officially called ESO 137-001, it features tendrils of young stars dangling from its central disk like ‘cosmic tentacles’, and NASA is set to find out why this occurs. “The newly forming stars in the tail are mysterious because processes common in large groups of galaxies should make it difficult for new stars to emerge. Most galaxies live in groups — for example, the Milky Way is a member of the Local Group, which also contains galaxies like Andromeda and the Triangulum spiral,” said a NASA representative. Read more for two videos about jellyfish galaxies and additional information.
“ESO 137-001 is a spiral galaxy similar in size to the Milky Way, and slightly less massive. Its tail extends across 260,000 light-years of space, almost three times the galaxy’s width. Galactic tails like this are difficult to spot because they are so tenuous. Surprisingly, stars seem to be forming in this tail,” according to Metro.co.uk.