A beautiful fluffy galaxy 67 million light-years from Earth is being spotted by NASA’s Hubble telescope
- The Milky Way is called NGC 2275 and is about 67 million light-years from Earth
- It can be found in the zodiac sign Cancer and appears to be ‘fluffy’
- A feathery appearance is probably a sign that the galaxy has been quiet for some time
NASA’s Hubble telescope captured an incredible image of a ‘fluffy’ galaxy.
The galaxy’s standard spiral appearance is complemented by a delicate, feathery appearance around the edges.
It is called NGC 2275 and is located about 67 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cancer.
The photo was taken with Hubble and required the expertise of astronomers from both the European Space Agency and the US space agency.
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NASA’s Hubble telescope captured an incredible image of a ‘fluffy’ galaxy (photo). It is called NGC 2275 and is located about 67 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cancer
Airy galaxies such as NGC 2275 are described by astronomers as being flaky.
Other spiral galaxies, such as the Milky Way, have more defined, sharper arms.
The arms of NCG 2275 are made up of gas clouds that have spread over time due to the rotation of the galaxy and are divided by large dust particles.
In the center of the galaxy is a large galactic bulge, almost devoid of all stars, since the gas and matter are already on it.
In addition to the bizarre, fluffy appearance, the striking beauty of the galaxy is enhanced by numerous bright blue dots.
Airy galaxies such as NGC 2275 are described by astronomers as being flaky. Other spiral galaxies, such as the Milky Way (photo), have more defined, sharper arms. The arms of NCG 2275 consist of gas clouds that have spread through the rotation of the galaxy over time
“Millions of bright, young, blue stars shine in the complex, feathery spiral arms, interlaced with dark dust bands,” ESA said in a statement.
Complexes of these hot, blue stars are thought to cause star formation in nearby gas clouds.
The Milky Way’s disk ‘wobbles like a top’
The Milky Way has a ‘kink’ or curvature in its disk that ‘wobbles like a spinning top’ and may have been caused by an ongoing collision with a nearby dwarf galaxy.
It was first discovered in the late 1950s, but until recently, astronomers have been unable to pinpoint exactly what caused the malformation in the galactic disk.
The ESA team now believes it must have been caused by a powerful collision with another galaxy – possibly the nearby dwarf galaxy Sagittarius.
The overall feather-like spiral patterns of the arms are then formed by shearing off the gas clouds as the galaxy spins.
“The spiral character of flaky galaxies contrasts with the grand design spirals, which feature prominent, well-defined spiral arms.”
Hubble is NASA’s strongest space telescope and was first launched in 1990.
It is named after the famous astronomer Edwin Hubble who was born in Missouri in 1889.
He is perhaps best known for discovering that the universe is expanding and the speed at which it is happening – now he invented the Hubble constant.
It orbits the Earth at a speed of about 17,000 mph (27,300 km / h) in a low Earth orbit at about 340 miles.
Hubble has a pointer accuracy of 0.007 arc seconds, which is similar to being able to shine a laser beam aimed at Franklin D. Roosevelt’s head on a dime about 200 miles (320 km) away.
Hubble’s primary mirror is 2.4 meters (7 feet, 10.5 inches) wide and a total of 13.3 meters (43.5 feet) long – the length of a large school bus.
It will be followed up in the coming years as NASA’s large telescope by the much delayed James Webb telescope.