HomeAstronomy & SpaceAstronomyHubble captured interacting spiral galaxy NGC 3509

Hubble captured interacting spiral galaxy NGC 3509

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The spiral galaxy NGC 3509 is featured in this image taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. NGC 3509 is a fascinating galaxy located 350 million light-years away, with a sweeping tidal tail (not seen in this view) that hints at its evolution.

NGC 3509 features a single, relatively undamaged core surrounded by a whirl of dust lanes, according to Hubble, who discovered it as part of a study looking at the physical circumstances in strongly interacting and merging galaxy nuclei.

This indicates that there hasn’t been a massive disk-to-disk merger in the galaxy. Instead, NGC 3509 could have collided with a smaller galaxy or be interacting with a small companion whose gravity is causing the tidal tail.

NGC 3509, like most spiral galaxies, is continually forming new stars. The colour red in this image depicts near-infrared light wavelengths and highlights star-forming regions along the spiral arms of the galaxy.

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