Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Galaxies: Scientists Discover Rectangle Shaped Galaxy

The two basic shapes in the universe are orbs and disks. Galaxies can be the exception. Most galaxies are either disks or clusters(orbs) but the occasional spiked or mottled shaped galaxies are documented. Because they consist of billions of starts the odd shapes of some galaxies are the result of gravitational anomalies and collisions.
click pic for full story 
An international team has discovered a rarity in stellar body research - a galaxy in the shape of a rectangle. A square galaxy is a very rare occurrence it shouldn't exist, or rather you don't expect it to exist.
While the working hypothesis (and some early observations from the Keck Telescope in Hawaii) suggest that the galaxy owes its shape more to being a side-on cylinder rather than a cube, it still throws up some interesting questions about our knowledge of galaxy formation.
Current thinking is the shape is most likely due to the very specific way in which two spiral galaxies came together and merged.
One possibility is that the elusive galaxy may have formed out of the collision of two spiral galaxies.
One of the reasons this emerald cut galaxy was hard to find is due to its dwarf-like status. It has 50 times less stars than our own Milky Way galaxy, plus its distance from us is equivalent to that spanned by 700 Milky Way galaxies placed end-to-end.

No comments:

Post a Comment