Hubble telescope spies on unbalanced spiral galaxy warped by gravity
the The Hubble Space Telescope captured a stunning new image of a distant spiral galaxy distorted by its neighbor’s gravitational tug.
the spiral galaxy, called NGC 2276, is located in the constellation Cepheus about 120 million light-years from the Earth’s sun. In a wide-field image of Hubble, it can be seen with its smaller neighbor NGC 2300. The gravitational pull of the neighboring galaxy twisted the spiral structure of NGC 2276 into an unbalanced shape, earning it a place in the TThe Atlas of Particular Galaxies, a catalog of the strangest stellar conglomerates originally published in 1966.
As the neighbor NGC 2300 exerts a gravitational force on one side of NGC 2276, the outermost parts of the larger galaxy’s spiral arms extend further from its center, giving NGC 2276 its asymmetrical appearance.
Related: What is a spiral galaxy
Spiral arms emanate like the legs of a spider from the center of so-called spiral galaxies (hence their name) to form brilliant streams where the density of stars is higher than in the rest of the galaxy. Wide arms are the distinguishing feature of spiral galaxies, which can have a rather complicated structure with a central bulge, a flat disk with spiral arms where most of the stars are concentrated, and a less dense stellar halo surrounding the disk. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, as well as his neighbor Andromeda, are both spiral galaxies.
In addition to the gravitational interaction with NGC 2300, the appearance of NGC 2276 is also affected by the extremely hot gas that typically permeates galaxy clusters.
According to a European Space Agency (ESA) description of the image, this superheated gas set off a star-forming explosion in NGC 2276, which can be seen on the left side of the close-up image as a shining area of blue-tinted light. The recent star-forming explosion of NGC 2276 is also linked to the appearance of more exotic inhabitants – black holes and neutron stars in binary systems, ESA said in the statement.