‘Jellyfish’ galaxy spotted in new Hubble Space Telescope imagery

This image is the sixth and final installment in a series of observations of jellyfish galaxies made by the Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA released an image Friday of the jellyfish galaxy JO206, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Located in the constellation Aquarius, JO206 is more than 700 million light-years from Earth.

JO206 and other galaxies are referred to as jellyfish because they resemble their aquatic namesakes, according to NASA. 

This jellyfish-like shape occurs when galaxies move through galaxy clusters. In doing so, NASA said they ram into superheated plasma that pervades the galaxy clusters. As they move through, the jellyfish galaxies strip gas from other galaxies, leaving behind long tendrils of star formation.

In the recently released image taken by Hubble, JO206 can be seen as a bright disk of lavender and pink with long tendrils of bright star formation trailing behind it.


This image is the sixth and final installment in a "Pictures of the Week" series. According to the European Space Agency, the series includes Hubble observations of jellyfish galaxies.

One of those galaxies was JW39, which lies over 900 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices.

Another jellyfish galaxy was JO175, which lies over 650 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Telescopium.

Not to be outdone, JO204 was also imaged by Hubble. The jellyfish galaxy lies almost 600 million light-years away in the constellation Sextans, according to NASA and ESA.

JW100 was also part of the Pictures of the Week series. It is located in the constellation Pegasus, over 800 million light-years away, according to the ESA.

Lastly, JO201 is featured below. The jellyfish galaxy lies in the constellation Cetus, which is named after a sea monster from ancient Greek mythology, the ESA said.

The tentacles of jellyfish galaxies give astronomers a unique opportunity to study star formation under extreme conditions, far from the influence of the galaxy’s main disk, according to NASA


They added that the Hubble revealed that there are no striking differences between star formation in the disks of jellyfish galaxies and star formation in their tentacles. This suggests the environment of newly formed stars has only a minor influence on their formation.