here are the fantastic images of this strange galaxy

here are the fantastic images of this strange galaxy
here are the fantastic images of this strange galaxy

Hoag’s Object is a strange and mysterious ring galaxy located 600 million light years from Earth. It was discovered in 1950 by astronomer Arthur A. Hoag. What makes this celestial object so peculiar?

Alfredo Graça

Alfredo Graça Meteored Portugal 05/06/2024 07:00 5 min

Hoag’s Object is a strange and extremely rare ring-shaped galaxy located 600 million light years from Earth., discovered in 1950 by astronomer Arthur A. Hoag (1921-1999). It is slightly larger than our Milky Way and has a diameter of approximately 120,000 light years.

After several decades, this cosmic event captured by the Hubble Space Telescope (NASA) continues to intrigue scientists about its origin. Because?

To this day, astronomers do not know how the Hoag Object formed. If you look closely at the Snake Constellation, you can see a galaxy within another galaxy, which in turn is within another galaxy.

In the images captured by NASA’s Hubble telescope, you can see a bright ring made up of billions of young blue stars which form a perfect circle around a smaller, denser sphere of red stars, probably older. Another ring-shaped galaxy also lurks in the dark space between the two star circles.much further away from us.

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To this day, astronomers still don’t know what caused this extremely rare cosmic phenomenon. After all, ring galaxies -like Hoag’s Object- They represent less than 0.1 percent of all existing galaxies. But what are ring galaxies?

Hoag's Object
This photograph shows one of the few known ring-shaped galaxies in the Universe: NGC 6028, discovered on March 14, 1784 by astronomer William Herschel. Source: Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Basically, ring galaxies were normal galaxies disk-shaped that were deformed after a collision with a small galaxy billions of years ago.

The various theories about the formation of the Hoag Object

At the time of its discovery, It was suggested that Hoag’s Object could be a planetary nebulabut this hypothesis was quickly discarded and it was later confirmed that it was in fact a galaxy.

Arthur Hoag proposed that the formation of the rings was nothing more than an optical illusion caused by gravitational lensing., an effect that occurs when bodies of great mass bend and magnify light. However, later studies refuted this hypothesis.

Another hypothesis suggests that Hoag’s Object was once a disk-shaped galaxy due to a collision with a neighboring galaxy. smallest at some point in the last 3 billion years. The collision would have produced a density wave in the disk that gave rise to a characteristic ring shape (imagine a hole in the “belly” of the disk), permanently distorting its gravitational force.

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However, if the collision really occurred in the last three billion years, astronomers should be able to observe the consequences, and no evidence has been found. If there really was a cosmic collision at the center of this galaxy, it would probably have been much longer agowhich would have made any evidence disappear.

The truth about all this is that astronomers have not yet unraveled the origin of this intriguing cosmic phenomenon. Till the date, Hoag’s Object is one of the great mysteries of the universesince no one knows for sure how it was formed.

 
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