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Hubble catches a spiral in the air pump

Date:
September 9, 2013
Source:
NASA
Summary:
Lying more than 110 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Antlia (The Air Pump) is the spiral galaxy IC 2560, shown in a new image from NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. At this distance it is a relatively nearby spiral galaxy, and is part of the Antlia cluster -- a group of over 200 galaxies held together by gravity. This cluster is unusual; unlike most other galaxy clusters, it appears to have no dominant galaxy within it.

Spiral galaxy IC 2560.
Credit: Hubble/European Space Agency and NASA

Lying more than 110 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Antlia (The Air Pump) is the spiral galaxy IC 2560, shown in a new image from NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. At this distance it is a relatively nearby spiral galaxy, and is part of the Antlia cluster -- a group of over 200 galaxies held together by gravity. This cluster is unusual; unlike most other galaxy clusters, it appears to have no dominant galaxy within it.

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In this image, it is easy to spot IC 2560's spiral arms and barred structure. This spiral is what astronomers call a Seyfert-2 galaxy, a kind of spiral galaxy characterized by an extremely bright nucleus and very strong emission lines from certain elements -- hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, and oxygen. The bright center of the galaxy is thought to be caused by the ejection of huge amounts of super-hot gas from the region around a central black hole.

There is a story behind the naming of this quirky constellation -- Antlia was originally named antlia pneumatica by French astronomer Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, in honor of the invention of the air pump in the 17th century.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "Hubble catches a spiral in the air pump." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909154653.htm>.
NASA. (2013, September 9). Hubble catches a spiral in the air pump. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909154653.htm
NASA. "Hubble catches a spiral in the air pump." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130909154653.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

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