Friday, November 24, 2023

"Grand Design" Spiral Galaxy NGC 5364 | Victor Blanco Telescope

"Grand Design" Spiral Galaxy NGC 5364 | Victor Blanco Telescope

With its swirling arms and luminous core, NGC 5364 is unmistakably a spiral galaxy, lying in the constellation Virgo. However, it is not just any spiral galaxy imaged by the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on the 4-meter Víctor M. Blanco Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), a Program of the National Science Foundation’s NOIRLab. 
Distance: 50 million light years

This eye-catching stellar body is classified as a grand design spiral galaxy. Grand design spiral galaxies are characterized by prominent, well-defined arms that circle outwards from a distinct core. Only ten percent of spiral galaxies are given this descriptive name and they are considered the archetype of spiral galaxies owing to their ‘perfect’ structure. 

Nevertheless, NGC 5364 is not as perfect as it may appear. Compared to other grand design spirals, its arms are actually amorphous and asymmetrical. This distortion is thought to be due to interactions with the nearby lenticular galaxy NGC 5363 that can be seen in this image as a fuzzy smear below NGC 5364. Despite its significantly smaller size, the close proximity of this galaxy to NGC 5364 results in a mutual tugging. This moves around the stars and gas within NGC 5364’s arms and warps the overall shape of the galaxy.

Image Credit: Dark Energy Survey, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), FNAL, DECam, CTIO, NOIRLab, NSF, AURA

Image Processing: R. Colombari and M. Zamani (NSF’s NOIRLab)

Release Date: Nov. 22, 2023

#NASA #Astronomy #Space #Science #Galaxies #Galaxy #NGC5364 #SpiralGalaxy #NGC5363 #SpiralGalaxy #Virgo #Constellation #Cosmos #Universe #VictorBlancoTelescope #CerroTololoObservatory #NOIRLab #AURA #NSF #DOE #CTIO #CerroTololo #Chile #SouthAmerica #UnitedStates #STEM #Education

1 comment: