Cannibal ‘Umbrella Galaxy’ That Ate One of Its Neighbors Revealed in Spectacular Image

Astronomers have captured a spectacular picture of a cannibal galaxy, situated not less than 35 million light-years away, utilizing the Hubble Space Telescope.

The picture reveals the galaxy, often known as NGC 4651, in all its glory, with its huge spiral arms clearly seen, and its galactic middle shining shiny.

The galaxy, which may be seen the constellation Coma Berenices, measures round 50,000 light-years throughout and varieties a part of the Virgo Cluster—a big assortment of greater than a thousand galaxies.

NGC 4651 is typically known as the “Umbrella Galaxy” as a consequence of a faint umbrella-shaped construction that seems to increase one other 50,000 light-years from the principle galactic disc. This uncommon construction may be seen in one other picture right here.

Astronomers assume this cosmic umbrella is made up of stellar streams, or the paths of stars stripped from a smaller close by galaxy that NGC 4651 consumed within the distant previous.

“This remarkable spiral galaxy, known as NGC 4651, may look serene and peaceful as it swirls in the vast, silent emptiness of space, but don’t be fooled—it keeps a violent secret. It is believed that this galaxy consumed another smaller galaxy to become the large and beautiful spiral that we observe today,” the European Space Agency stated in an announcement.

The Hubble picture was made utilizing three separate exposures taken in seen and near-infrared gentle by the observatory’s Advanced Camera for Surveys instrument. However, you do not want the Hubble Space Telescope to see this spectacular galaxy. It is definitely attainable to watch it with an novice telescope, though your view will likely be far much less detailed.

NGC 4651
The picture of NGC 4651 captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
D. Leonard/Hubble/ESA/NASA

NGC 4651 was found on December 30, 1783, by German-born British astronomer William Herschel. The Virgo Cluster during which it lies varieties the center of the Virgo Supercluster—an enormous focus of greater than 1,000,000 galaxies extending for round 110 million light-years throughout that accommodates our personal Milky Way.

Hubble, which is collectively operated by NASA and the European Space Agency, has been conducting observations for practically 30 years. In that point, it has captured among the most dramatic and placing photographs of our universe, and it continues to shine a lightweight on the cosmos to this present day.

Recently, a group of astronomers managed to seize a picture of 2I/Borisov—the primary confirmed interstellar comet—utilizing the telescope, whereas one other group harnessed its observational capabilities to supply fascinating new insights into so-called “super-puff” exoplanets, that are comparable in density to cotton sweet.

Leave a Comment