SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Mercury Mystery, Eruption, More

 SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Mercury Mystery, Eruption, More
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September 30, 2009--A recently released Hubble Space Telescope picture shows a galaxy being stripped of its gases as it hurtles through the Virgo cluster at about six million miles (ten million kilometers) an hour.

The spiral galaxy NGC 4522 is about 60 million light-years from Earth. The ghostly haze of gas is being swept out of the galaxy due to ram pressure, a drag force similar to the wind a person feels while running, even on a still day. As the galaxy rapidly orbits the center of the Virgo cluster, intergalactic material creates the ram pressure.
— Image courtesy NASA & ESA
 
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