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Ring Around NGC 4650A

Ring Around NGC 4650A


Depicts: NGC 4650A, The Polar Ring Galaxy
Copyright: The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA)

Space Telescope Science Institute astronomers are giving the public chances to decide where to aim the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Guided by 8,000 Internet voters, Hubble has already been used to take a close-up, multi-color picture of the most popular object from a list of candidates, the extraordinary "polar-ring" galaxy NGC 4650A.

Located about 130 million light-years away, NGC 4650A is one of only 100 known polar-ring galaxies. Their unusual disk-ring structure is not yet understood fully. One possibility is that polar rings are the remnants of colossal collisions between two galaxies sometime in the distant past, probably at least 1 billion years ago. What is left of one galaxy has become the rotating inner disk of old red stars in the center.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
26-Sep-2021 16:34 UT

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