Hubble reveals stellar fireworks in ‘skyrocket’ galaxy
A new Hubble Space Telescope image shows a firestorm of star birth lighting up one end of the diminutive galaxy Kiso 5639. The dwarf galaxy is shaped like a flattened pancake, but because it is tilted edge-on, it resembles a skyrocket, with a brilliant blazing head and a long, star-studded tail. Kiso 5639 is a member of a class of galaxies called “tadpoles” because of their bright heads and elongated tails. This galaxy resides relatively nearby, at 82 million light-years away. Tadpoles are rare in the local universe but more common in the distant cosmos, suggesting that many galaxies pass through a phase like this as they evolve.