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Image of the Week – A Hook and Ripples on the Lagoon – 08/05/11

8 May 2011, 21:17 UTC
Image of the Week – A Hook and Ripples on the Lagoon – 08/05/11
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

This week’s IOTW is a special double featuring two equally spectacular images.
First up is the latest ESO image of NGC 2442, affectionately termed the Meathook Galaxy.

NGC 2442 – The Meethook Galaxy Credit: ESO

The galaxy is located 55 million light years away in the direction of the Southern Constellation Volans – The Flying Fish.
A fantastic two armed spiral, that had at some point in its history had a significant gravitational interaction with another galaxy that distorted and twisted its shape. The galaxy has remained in its lopsided shape to this day, and will likely remain as it is for many more millions of years. Despite galaxies being somewhat large objects Astronomers have yet to confirm which of NGC 2442′s neighbours were involved in the interaction. The gravitational dance caused a burst of star formation within the galaxy that have caused many hot, bright blue stars to light up within it.
The second is an image of the Lagoon Nebula as seen by the Gemini Observatory
The Lagoon Nebula as seen by the Gemini Observatory Credit: Julia I. Arias and Rodolfo H. Barbá Departamento de Física, Universidad de La Serena (Chile), and ICATE-CONICET (Argentina)
The nebula ...

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