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Revealing galactic secrets

26 October 2017 Astronomy Now

Countless galaxies vie for attention in this monster image of the Fornax Galaxy Cluster, some appearing only as pinpricks of light while others dominate the foreground.

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Hubble spotlights irregular galaxy IC 3583

28 November 2016 Astronomy Now

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image reveals a delicate blue group of stars — actually an irregular galaxy named IC 3583 — that sits some 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo. This small galaxy is thought to be gravitationally interacting with one of its neighbours, the spiral Messier 90.

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Hubble captures a galactic cannibal

7 November 2016 Astronomy Now

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image reveals NGC 1222, a galaxy with a rather eventful story to tell. NGC 1222 has been described as a peculiar example of a so-called lenticular galaxy, but one that exhibits very recent star formation on a huge scale — an event known as a starburst — due to having recently consumed two dwarf galaxies.

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Monster lurks at the core of a lenticular galaxy

12 September 2016 Astronomy Now

This scene captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows PGC 83677, a lenticular galaxy — a galaxy type that sits between the more familiar elliptical and spiral varieties in the Hubble sequence. Studies have uncovered signs of a monstrous black hole in the core of PGC 83677 that is spewing out high-energy X-rays and ultraviolet light.


‘Frankenstein’ galaxy UGC 1382 surprises astronomers

13 July 2016 Astronomy Now

About 250 million light-years away, there’s a neighbourhood of our universe that astronomers had considered quiet and unremarkable. But now, scientists have uncovered an enormous, bizarre galaxy possibly formed from the parts of other galaxies. Some 718,000 light-years across, UGC 1382 is more than seven times wider than the Milky Way.

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Hubble sees star clusters encircling a lenticular galaxy

16 May 2016 Astronomy Now

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows star clusters encircling a galaxy, like bees buzzing around a hive. The hive in question is the edge-on lenticular galaxy NGC 5308, located just under 100 million light-years away in the constellation of Ursa Major. On 9 October 1996, one of NGC 5308’s aging stars exploded as a spectacular Type la supernova.

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Lenticular galaxy conceals an eventful past

18 April 2016 Astronomy Now

The elegant simplicity of NGC 4111, seen here in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, hides a more violent history than you might think. NGC 4111 is a lenticular, or lens-shaped, galaxy, lying about 50 million light-years from us in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs).

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A galaxy at the centre of the Hubble Tuning Fork

7 November 2015 Astronomy Now

Markarian 820, also known as Mrk 820, LEDA 52404 or IRAS F14379+3142, is a lenticular galaxy in the constellation Boötes, about 300 million light-years from Earth. Galaxies like this one are in the transition zone between ellipticals and spirals and lie right where the fork divides in American astronomer Edwin Hubble’s classification scheme of galaxies from 1926.

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Hubble sees the beautiful side of galaxy IC 335

25 December 2014 Astronomy Now

Located in the Fornax Galaxy Cluster some 60 million light-years from Earth, IC 335 is an edge-on lenticular system — an intermediate state in galaxy morphological classification schemes between true spiral and elliptical galaxies.