starsurfer wrote: ↑
Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:34 pm
Boomer12k wrote: ↑
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:32 am
Good image of the "Whale Galaxy"...
clicking on the image, and looking at the larger image and the lower left area...it looks to me to be some sort of merger going on...I know there are many forms of Irregulars...some are Diffuse, and devoid of mass... but this does not look like the case. In wide shots, there does not seem to be a nearby disrupting galaxy...maybe it ran into some NEW GAS... that had not formed into much of a galaxy at the time, and drawing it in made it explode in star formation...
If you look, there seems to be a bit of a "demarcation" between the two areas.
I think head on, there might be more of a "lopsided-spiral" view... but could be just me...
The Whale Galaxy is NGC 4631. I don't think NGC 55 has a popular name?
Boomer, you're right:
NGC 55, also occasionally referred to as The Whale Galaxy
NGC 55, the Whale Galaxy. Photo: Martin Pugh.
NGC 4631, the Whale Galaxy. Photo: Bieter Beer and Patrick Hochleitner.
But starsurfer, you are certainly right too. As I googled "The Whale Galaxy", I got pictures of and entries on NGC 4631 only
. NGC 4631 really looks like a whale too, with that "fin" sticking out. The "fin" must be a spiral arm, of course. Clearly NGC 4631 is more whale-like than NGC 55, with its undulating "swimming" body.
NGC 4631 is very clearly tidally distorted by interactions with its small (but nevertheless hefty) satellite galaxy. Interestingly though, NGC 55 is also "distorted" (or lopsided). The disk of NGC 55 is a lot more elongated on one side of its yellowish bulge than on the other side of it. Perhaps NGC 55 is more like an extremely emaciated narwhal
Mourning becomes Electra.
Spiral arms become the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Photo: Carlos Milovic.
Finally, since NGC 55 is said to be a Magellanic type galaxy (which I don't doubt that it is, don't get me wrong), I started hunting for images of the Large Magellanic Cloud, and I came across this one, which blew me away. I have no idea how the picture was made, so it may be so heavily and selectively processed that it has brought out features that may not actually be there. Even so, though, don't the spiral arms look good on our Large Magellanic neighbour?