HomeAstronomy & SpaceAstronomyHubble captured interacting spiral galaxy NGC 3509

Hubble captured interacting spiral galaxy NGC 3509

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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