Image: Hubble's Cartwheel Galaxy

Image: Hubble’s Cartwheel Galaxy
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

This is an image of the Cartwheel Galaxy taken with the NASA/ESA (European Space Agency) Hubble Space Telescope.

The object was first spotted on wide-field images from the U.K. Schmidt telescope and then studied in detail using the Anglo-Australian Telescope.

Lying about 500 million light-years away in the constellation of Sculptor, the cartwheel shape of this galaxy is the result of a violent galactic collision. A smaller galaxy has passed right through a large disk galaxy and produced that swept up gas and dust—much like the ripples produced when a stone is dropped into a lake—and sparked regions of intense star formation (appearing blue). The outermost ring of the galaxy, which is 1.5 times the size of our Milky Way, marks the shock wave's leading edge. This object is one of the most dramatic examples of the small class of ring galaxies.

This image is based on earlier Hubble data of the Cartwheel Galaxy that was reprocessed in 2010, bringing out more detail in the image than seen before.

Explore further

Image: Hubble's barred and booming spiral galaxy

Provided by NASA
Citation: Image: Hubble's Cartwheel Galaxy (2018, January 22) retrieved 20 May 2019 from
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.

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jan 22, 2018
A smaller galaxy has passed right through a large disk galaxy and produced shock waves that swept up gas and dust

Just another assumption [JAA] from a committed merger maniac [CMM]. LaViollette teaches that the core undergoes periodic superwave gamma-ray ejections, illuminating the galaxy with synchrotron radiation therefrom. Note the concentric rings!

Where is the damning evidence of a merger, merger maniacs??

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