Examples of Similar Situations in the Cosmos

As the space industry continues to set their sights on planets outside of our system with the objective of finding signs of life, other astronomers are enjoying something completely different. The little club galaxy, which is found near Ursa Major, is dying.

End of an Era for the Little Cub Galaxy

Nicknamed the ‘Great Bear’ constellation, the little cub is currently being sucked dry by a nearby galaxy called the NGC 3359. Galaxies consist of various cosmic material including stars, gases and various organic and organic materials. The gases being sucked by NGC 3359 are what the dwarf galaxy requires to grow large and form more stars though it seems it may not have the opportunity to do so. When stars can no longer be formed, the galaxy will collapse.

The Little cub dwarf system is being used as an example of a primitive galaxy that came into being moments after the big bang. Apparently it was preserved in a manner it could give some insights into what the universe was like when it was young. Most researchers have claimed it is rare for a tiny galaxy to still have gas and endeavoring to form stars even when it is in the proximity of a much larger system.


Though it has been able to maintain current form for millions of years not to mention the fact it was one of the first galaxies to form after the big bang theory so it should be interesting to see how it fares, though the result may not be apparent for several lifetimes.

Examples of Similar Situations in the Cosmos

This is not the first time though a galaxy has had the life being sucked out of it as in the case of the little cub system. The collapse of galaxies has always been related to extreme collisions with other similar celestial bodies.

Rarely has the draining of energies and life creating resources been considered as a cause of death for such a large celestial system. Take for example the Markarian 1018 system which is a seyfert galaxy 607 million light years away from the earth. The lights have dimmed from the brilliant celestial body leading to a dim speck.

All of this is because of massive black holes at the centre of the system. It is entirely possible that Markarian 1018 in fact has two black holes at the core considering it was the effect of a collision and merger between two older large galaxies in the first place.

Active galactic nuclei which are some of the brightest objects in the cosmos emit dazzling radiation as they suck material. However, the issue is the black hole(s) seem to be starving and so the output of light has gone down, which is how we know the galaxy is at the end of its rope.

Though it is not the first time the galaxy had gone dim considering the same thing happened in the 80’s before it lit up again. The theory at that time was that it had been obscured by gas clouds or had consumed a star before the theory of the being starved by the gravitational objects was confirmed.

[See More: Space Travel, 101: Preserving Life Through Other Planets]