A Peculiar Galaxy Deformed By A Nearby Satellite Spotted By Hubble

A Peculiar Galaxy Deformed By A Nearby Satellite Spotted By Hubble

The Hubble Space Telescope has recently captured a mesmerizing image of a galaxy named NGC 772, situated 130 million light-years far-off in the Aries constellation. NGC 772 has a few distinctive traits. Contrasting to our barred Milky Way galaxy, NGC 772 doesn’t have a bar. Bars are the belts of bright light resulting from the structures of gas and dust running along with the galaxies’ core. These bars are usually built later in the life of a majority of galaxies, as though by the astronomers. Also, of all the galaxies, between one-third and two-thirds are believed to have bars.

Bars, within our home galaxy as well as other barred galaxies, add to star formation by channeling the gases and dust—the star’s building blocks—into the galactic center. However, this process is absent in a non-barred galaxy such as NGC 772, though ample of gas and dust can still be seen soaring around for the new stars’ formation in other areas of the galaxy.

Also, NGC 772 has a strangely elongated shape, implying it is theoretically categorized as a “peculiar galaxy.” In this case, the oddness is the spiral arm visible in the image’s upper part that has been extended and stretched. The deformation has resulted from the movements of a close-by satellite galaxy. It is a name for a smaller galaxy bound gravitationally to a bigger galaxy and revolves around it. NGC 770 is one of the satellite galaxies of NGC 772—not seen in the picture but does have a noticeable impact. Tidal forces are exerted by NGC 770 on its bigger host galaxy, dragging the one spiral arm out deeper into space, making NGC 772 appear asymmetrical.

Likewise, another new picture from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope displays an astronomical entity whose picture is multiplied by the strong gravitational lensing’s effect. The galaxy, dubbed the Sunburst Arc, is around 11 billion light-years far-off from Earth.

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