APOD: Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660 (2014 Nov 08)

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APOD Robot
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APOD: Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660 (2014 Nov 08)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Nov 08, 2014 5:10 am

Image Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660

Explanation: NGC 660 is featured in this cosmic snapshot, a sharp composite of broad and narrow band filter image data from the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea. Over 20 million light-years away and swimming within the boundaries of the constellation Pisces, NGC 660's peculiar appearance marks it as a polar ring galaxy. A rare galaxy type, polar ring galaxies have a substantial population of stars, gas, and dust orbiting in rings nearly perpendicular to the plane of the galactic disk. The bizarre-looking configuration could have been caused by the chance capture of material from a passing galaxy by a disk galaxy, with the captured debris eventually strung out in a rotating ring. The violent gravitational interaction would account for the myriad pinkish star forming regions scattered along NGC 660's ring. The polar ring component can also be used to explore the shape of the galaxy's otherwise unseen dark matter halo by calculating the dark matter's gravitational influence on the rotation of the ring and disk. Broader than the disk, NGC 660's ring spans over 50,000 light-years.

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Re: APOD: Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660 (2014 Nov 08)

Post by Boomer12k » Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:44 am

Fascinating and interesting...and it looks like....X Marks the Spot.... :D

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JohnD
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Re: APOD: Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660 (2014 Nov 08)

Post by JohnD » Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:37 am

We are oft-time told that colliding galaxies are innocuous to individual stars, as the distances between them are so great.
But look at the turmoil in the polar component! The extensive - nay 'continuous - star forming in that ring must make it a dangerous place to be!

JOhn

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Re: APOD: Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660 (2014 Nov 08)

Post by Tszabeau » Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:54 pm

"f-stop" is the obvious name for this galaxy.

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Re: APOD: Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660 (2014 Nov 08)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:00 pm

Very nice image today :!: It's unusual, very instructive, and, as a bonus, it's not a weekend rerun so we won't be bothered by tedious complaints. :lol2:
Just as zero is not equal to infinity, everything coming from nothing is illogical.

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Re: APOD: Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660 (2014 Nov 08)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:10 pm

JohnD wrote:We are oft-time told that colliding galaxies are innocuous to individual stars, as the distances between them are so great.
But look at the turmoil in the polar component! The extensive - nay 'continuous - star forming in that ring must make it a dangerous place to be!
Or maybe a healthy place. The risk is from nearby supernovas. And that risk is real to established species. But it might also provide a trigger to increased speciation. So a planet finding itself for a few million years in a star forming region might also result in the formation of life, or in greater diversity and complexity.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660 (2014 Nov 08)

Post by starsurfer » Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:02 pm

I would love to see a HaLRGB image of this galaxy by Adam Block!

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Re: APOD: Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 660 (2014 Nov 08)

Post by DavidLeodis » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:46 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:Very nice image today :!: It's unusual, very instructive, and, as a bonus, it's not a weekend rerun so we won't be bothered by tedious complaints. :lol2:
Hi BDanielMayfield.

It is a rerun but a good and welcome one, as I recognised it at once as having been used before (on checking it was the APOD of November 10 2012). :thumb_up:

PS. I did add another smilie but the limit is 3 and I found that includes any already in a quote!