Space photo of the week: Hubble spots a twisted ‘train-wreck’ galaxy that may hide a cosmic illusion | Space

What it is: NGC 4753, a lenticular galaxy

Where it is: 60 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo

When it was shared: May 13, 2024

Why it’s so special: This is the best-ever image of NGC 4753, a galaxy with uniquely distorted dust lanes that have led some people to nickname it the “train-wreck galaxy.”

This new image from the Hubble Space Telescope, published hot on the heels of a similar image taken using the Gemini South telescope in January, shows NGC 4753 in more detail than ever before. A bright white core sits at the center of the image, with dark-brown dust lanes creating an almost web-like tunnel or tent around its nucleus.

NGC 4753 is a lenticular galaxy — a cross between a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way and an elliptical galaxy, according to NASA. Lenticular galaxies have a central bulge and disk — just like a spiral galaxy — but they appear to lack spiral arms teeming with stars. Instead, like elliptical galaxies, they have stars orbiting in a featureless pattern. Those scattered stars are often older, with few new stars being born.

Related: Some of the oldest stars in the universe found hiding near the Milky Way’s edge — and they may not be alone

Scientists have suggested that NGC 4753’s unique look could simply be thanks to our view of it; if viewed…

Source www.livescience.com

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