Spiral Galaxy NGC 1055 Captured On The Edge

Posted: Mar 3 2017, 12:38pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Spiral Galaxy NGC 1055 Captured on the Edge
This colourful stripe of stars, gas, and dust is actually a spiral galaxy named NGC 1055. Captured here by ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), this big galaxy is thought to be up to 15 percent larger in diameter than the Milky Way. NGC 1055 appears to lack the whirling arms characteristic of a spiral, as it is seen edge-on. However, it displays odd twists in its structure that were probably caused by an interaction with a large neighbouring galaxy. Credit: ESO

A spiral galaxy NGC 1055 captured on the edge by by ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT)

Spiral galaxies have different orientations depending on earth, like the whirlpool shaped galaxy NGC 1232 that shows galaxy’s flowing arms with details, but it’s difficult to understand it.

Other galaxies are visible at certain angles, like NGC 3521. Some galaxies show their 3D structure due to flowing arms, but to know galaxy details, view at a certain angle is required, like NGC 1055.

The spiral galaxy, like NGC 1055 is a combination of stars, dust and gas, and it was captured by ESO's VLT, a very large telescope. The galaxy is 15 percent bigger than milky galaxy, however it lacks whirling arms

With edge-on galaxies, one can understand stars’ distribution in the galaxy, and they are easy to measure. The 3D view of such galaxies helps astronomers observe the actual shape of galaxy’s disc, and its properties, like warping apparent in NGC 1055. The galaxy has areas with certain twisting in the disc that happens due to its interaction with adjacent galaxy Messier 77.

Messier 77 is also known as NGC 1068 and it has amazing region with very huge black hole, and it’s also called active galaxy.

NGC 1055 exists 55 million light years away in Cetus constellation. The image was derived through FORS2 an instrument installed on Unit Telescope 1 of the VLT in Chile.

ESO is an organization in Europe based on astronomy, and it’s considered the most productive astronomical observatory that’s ground based. ESO is supported by several countries, like Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as its host Chile.

ESO manages design, construction, and operations of ground based observations that help astronomers in scientific researches.

ESO also promotes and organize astronomical researches. Three sites that ESO operates include, Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. ESO is also in partnership with ALMA in a huge astronomical project.

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