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
Last Update: 1 September 2019