Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 2685
Posted on 03/14/2014 9:23:34 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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 sharp 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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[Credit & Copyright: Ken Crawford]
Put’s me in mind of the issues raised by Giordano Bruno in his dialogue concerning the Infinite Universe, as put before us recently by the eminent Dr. Tyson.
In particular it reminds me that Bruno’s “guess” as it was called, but which I am inclined to see as legitimate insight, was after all lacking something. Recall that it was only in the last, i.e. the 20th century that the existence and nature of galaxies was comprehended. It is significant that they were called “island universes” as it came to be realized that the extensive field of stars visible to us is in fact local to our galaxy, and it was only in the mid to late 1900’s that the “large scale” structure of the visible universe came into the view that we see today.
I have to say that these later developments only add to my appreciation of Bruno’s startling insight.
Just tapping my inner teenager ... carry on! ;^)
But darling, you were born in a GRAND DESIGN galaxy. Everyone knows that they're the best!
40 million light years away?
That would be BILLyuns and BILLyons of Miles!
But look at this polar ring galaxy. It looks kind of like some cosmic vacuum tube.
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