HomeScience and ResearchSpaceHubble Catches An Unusual, Warped Shape Spiral Galaxy's Core

Hubble Catches An Unusual, Warped Shape Spiral Galaxy’s Core

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As seen from Earth, NGC 3718 is a highly disturbed spiral galaxy with a strange, warped shape that looks a bit like a fat letter “s.” A thin thread of dark dust winds through it.

In this picture of NGC 3718, Hubble reveals the twisting, meandering path of dust as it travels through the galaxy’s core and enters the gaseous environment around it. In this unusual shape, the galaxy’s gas and dust lanes are equally warped.

Hubble Catches An Unusual, Warped Shape Spiral Galaxy's Core
Hubble Catches An Unusual, Warped Shape Spiral Galaxy’s Core

The large dust lane makes it hard to see the galaxy’s core in visible or ultraviolet light, but it can be seen in infrared light, which can pass through dusty areas.

NGC 3718, commonly known as Arp 214, is considered to have developed its distinctive shape as a result of gravitational interaction with NGC 3729, a nearby spiral galaxy around 150,000 light-years away.

The Picture of NGC 3718

The dark loop of material that extends toward the 7 o’clock position and the reddish star formation line that extends toward the 9 o’clock position are both features that are likely the result of this encounter.

Hubble captured this image in visible and infrared light as part of a multi-environment investigation of the center areas of disk-shaped galaxies with significant star bulges.

The goal of the research was to better understand the relationship between the mass of supermassive black holes and the features of galactic bulges, as well as to look into star formation on a galactic scale, from the nucleus to the galaxy’s disk.

Image Credit: NASA

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