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Una galassia dalle braccia a spirale abbraccia il cielo: cos'è?

Spiral arms of NGC 1961

If we want to romanticize astronomy, we can talk about an amazing embrace. Yes, because that is the feeling that is perceived by observing the new image released by the European Space Agency (ESA) that shows Two huge spiral arms They appeared in a region of the sky, in deep space.

In fact, this wonderful spiral of stars, lights and twinkling objects is not “new”: researchers have already identified it a long time ago, studying it and trying to understand its deepest mysteries. However, the new image immortalizes it in all its extraordinary grandeur. It offers new insights about spiral galaxies.

What is a spiral galaxy?

But, in fact, what is one spiral galaxy? It is a type of galaxies with a central connection (called in the jargon swelling) in an oval shape. The center lamp Contains the oldest stars and in some cases a Black hole A great entity, surrounded by a “disk”, which is nothing more than a star pool Young people are surrounded by open clusters and gas clouds. The disc in question is flat, rotating and reassembling an angular motion.

Therefore, spiral galaxies are very suggestive to observe, because they are moving (literally) and their ends look like shiny, sinuous arms, which extend to become more or less visible depending on the galaxy’s location. there Milky Way It is a kind of spiral, or so it is assumed: from our position, in fact, it is impossible to say for sure.

The heavenly embrace of NCG 1961

Returning to the photo published by the European Space Agency, the protagonist is NGC 1961 (also known as IC 2133), a spiral galaxy that rotates very quickly and, according to the latest studies, will have a larger diameter 220,000 light years. NGC 1961 was a subject of study because its arms appear so elongated, as if the galaxy had been distorted by contact with a “twin”.

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However, no companion galaxy has been discovered or any sign of any merger that would explain the merger that would generally justify this type of distortion. Also for this reason Uneven outer arms And fragmentary, they are very charming and mysterious. The Hubble Space Telescope has been able to capture the twinkling regions of young stars, which appear to dot these strange spaces while elegantly wrapping around a bright bulb, as if they wanted to encircle the deep space around them.

NCG 1961 and surrounding galaxies

The European Space Agency, in cooperation with NASA, monitors NCG 1961 and the surrounding galaxies. NGC 1961 is a Intermediate spiral galaxy, which fall into the category of active galactic nuclei, with active galactic nuclei. This type of galaxy is special in that it escapes the classification that marks all other galaxies as “banned” and “unbanned” (i.e. with a “bar” defined by stars in the center).

Owns AGN . galaxies very bright centers which often obscure the rest of the galaxy at certain wavelengths of light. These galaxies likely contain supermassive black holes within them that produce bright jets and winds that shape their evolution. Therefore, observing them is an extraordinary way to understand more about black holes, among the most mysterious celestial bodies in the universe.