Astronomy Picture of the Day



Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 2685

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#98905 by @ 17.02.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 2685


Explanation:

NGC 2685 is
a confirmed polar ring galaxy - a rare type
of galaxy with
stars, gas and dust orbiting in rings perpendicular to the plane of
a flat galactic disk.

The bizarre configuration could be
caused by the chance
capture of
material
from another galaxy by a disk galaxy,
with the captured debris strung out
in a rotating ring.

Still,
observed
properties of NGC 2685 suggest that
the rotating ring structure is remarkably old and stable.

In this
fascinating
view of the peculiar system also known as
Arp 336
or the Helix galaxy, the strange,
perpendicular rings
are easy to trace as they pass in front of the galactic disk,
along with other disturbed outer structures.

NGC 2685 is about 50,000 light-years across and
40 million light-years away in the constellation
Ursa Major.




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