GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a large spiral galaxy called NGC 3227 wrapped in a turbulent “gravitational dance,” with NGC 3226, an elliptical galaxy. Collectively called Arp 94, the two are between 50 and 60 million light-years from Earth, towards the constellation Leo. Faint tidal streams of gas and dust link the pair in their dance.

What

  1. NGC 3227 is a Seyfert Galaxy, a type of galaxy that has a supermassive black hole at the centre and therefore accrete metal, releasing large amounts of radiation.
  2. Scientists estimate that about 10 per cent of all galaxies may be Seyfert galaxies.
  3. Astronomers want to understand why galaxies in our local universe mostly fall into two categories: they are either younger star-forming spirals like our Milky Way or older elliptical galaxies where star-making has ceased.
  4. NGC 3226 occupies a transitional middle ground, giving scientists an opportunity to understand how one transitions into another.
  5. Many gassy loops with stars emerge from NGC 3226 and filaments run from it to NGC 3227. These ‘streamers’ of materials suggest that a third galaxy could have existed there recently until NGC 3226 cannibalised and strewed pieces of the shredded galaxy all over the vicinity.