viernes, 4 de agosto de 2017

NGC4656 || Hubble's Hockey Stick Galaxy | NASA

Hubble's Hockey Stick Galaxy | NASA

Hubble's Hockey 

Stick Galaxy

A diagonal streak of blue-white stars, more pink in the middle
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Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Jenny Hottle
The star of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a galaxy known as NGC 4656, located in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). However, it also has a somewhat more interesting and intriguing name: the Hockey Stick Galaxy! The reason for this is a little unclear from this partial view, which shows the bright central region, but the galaxy is actually shaped like an elongated, warped stick, stretching out through space until it curls around at one end to form a striking imitation of a celestial hockey stick.
This unusual shape is thought to be due to an interaction between NGC 4656 and a couple of near neighbors, NGC 4631 (otherwise known as The Whale Galaxy) and NGC 4627 (a small elliptical). Galactic interactions can completely reshape a celestial object, shifting and warping its constituent gas, stars, and dust into bizarre and beautiful configurations.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has spied a large number of interacting galaxies over the years, from the cosmic rose of Arp 273 to the egg-penguin duo of Arp 142 and the pinwheel swirls of Arp 240. More Hubble images of interacting galaxies can be seen here.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Text credit: European Space Agency
Last Updated: Aug. 4, 2017
Editor: Karl Hille

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