Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Arms of NGC 4258

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#99589 by @ 12.04.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
The Arms of NGC 4258


Better known as M106, bright
spiral galaxy
NGC 4258 is about 30 thousand light years across and
21 million light years away
toward the northern constellation
Canes Venatici.

The yellow and red hues in
this composite
show the
galaxy's sweeping
spiral arms
as seen in visible and
infrared light.

But x-ray
radio data
(blue and purple) reveal two extra
spiral arms -- arms that don't align with the more familiar tracers
of stars, gas, and dust.

In fact,
an analysis of
the x-ray
and radio data suggests
that the anamolous arms are composed of material
heated by shock waves.

Detected at radio wavelengths,
powerful jets originating in the
galaxy's core likely drive the shocks into the disk
of NGC 4258.

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