The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a stunning new view of a giant galaxy more than twice the size of the Milky Way.
NGC 474 is about 250,000 light-years across, which is 2.5 times larger than our galaxy Milky Way. But NGC 474’s size isn’t its only unique feature, according to Statement from NASA (Opens in a new tab)which released the new image on May 18.
Recent Hubble observations show that NGC 474 has a series of intricately layered shells surrounding a globular core. Although the source of these shells is unknown, they may be the result of a galactic merger in which NGC 474 absorbed one or more smaller galaxies, according to the statement.
During a galactic merger, it absorbs galaxy They can create waves, forming the stratigraphic shells observed in NGC 474. This process is similar to how a pebble falls into the water creating ripples.
“About 10% of elliptical galaxies have shell structures, but unlike the majority of elliptical galaxies associated with galaxy clusters, ejected elliptical galaxies typically lie in relatively empty space,” NASA officials said in the statement. “They may have spoiled their neighbors.”
The new image of NGC 474 was captured using the Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys. The researchers also used data from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera, Planetary Camera 2, and Wide Field Camera 3 to get a comprehensive view of the massive galaxy.
“Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver.”