Hubble spots a lopsided Lynx

NASA's Hubble Spots a Lopsided Lynx
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

This galaxy, known as NGC 2337, resides 25 million light-years away in the constellation of Lynx. NGC 2337 is an irregular galaxy, meaning that it—along with a quarter of all galaxies in the universe—lacks a distinct, regular appearance. The galaxy was discovered in 1877 by the French astronomer Édouard Stephan who, in the same year, discovered the galactic group Stephan's Quintet (heic0910i).

Although irregular galaxies may never win a beauty prize when competing with their more symmetrical spiral and elliptical peers, astronomers consider them to be very important. Some irregular galaxies may have once fallen into one of the regular classes of the Hubble sequence, but were warped and deformed by a passing cosmic companion. As such, irregular galaxies provide astronomers with a valuable opportunity to learn more about and interaction.

Despite the disruption, between galaxies can kick-start star formation activity within the affected , which may explain the pockets of blue light scattered throughout NGC 2337. These patches and knots of blue signal the presence of young, newly formed, hot stars.


Explore further

Hubble peers at a distinctly disorganized dwarf galaxy

Provided by NASA
Citation: Hubble spots a lopsided Lynx (2016, August 15) retrieved 25 April 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-08-hubble-lopsided-lynx.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
434 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more