Star birth with a chance of winds?
The lesser-known constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs), is home to a variety of deep-sky objects—including this beautiful galaxy, known as NGC 4861. Astronomers are still debating on how to classify it. While its physical properties—such as mass, size and rotational velocity—indicate it to be a spiral galaxy, its appearance looks more like a comet with its dense, luminous "head" and dimmer "tail" trailing off. Features more fitting with a dwarf irregular galaxy.
These galactic winds can be powered by the ongoing process of star formation, which involves huge amounts of energy. New stars are springing into life within the bright, colorful 'head' of NGC 4861 and ejecting streams of high-speed particles as they do so, which flood outwards to join the wider galactic wind. While NGC 4861 would be a perfect candidate to study such winds, recent studies did not find any galactic winds in it.
Author: Karl Hille | Source: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center [January 27, 2017]