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NGC 474, an abnormal eliptical galaxy, has been baffling scientists ever since its discovery. The multiple layers or “shells” release massive amounts of energy yet astronomers have been unable to solve how they formed. Some theorize that NGC 474′s shells are a result of other smaller galaxies being absorbed while others theorize that the nearby galaxy (NGC 470) is causing density waves to ripple through the galactic giant. 

Astronomy Photo of the Day: 7/7/15 — NGC 1427A

Meet NGC 1427A: a galaxy zooming through space in the Eridanus constellation (about 65 million light-years from Earth). You can tell right off that the galaxy is unlike most we are intimately familiar with—they tend to have sprawling spiral arms, and distinct central cores.

Rather, NGC 1427A, which is a member of the Fornax Cluster of galaxies, has all the earmarks of an irregular dwarf galaxy, meaning it is small, and has a peculiar shape. Learn more: http://bit.ly/1HJTS7J

Image Credit: ESO

This rich view of an array of colourful stars and gas was captured by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera, on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. It shows a young open cluster of stars known as NGC 2367, an infant stellar grouping that lies at the centre of an immense and ancient structure on the margins of the Milky Way. Credit: ESO/G. Beccari

(via The colourful star cluster NGC 2367 | ESO)

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NGC 281 - The Pacman Nebula
Re-Process NGC 281, more commonly known as the Pacman nebula is a glowing emission nebula found about 9,500 light years away in the constellation Cassiopeia. NGC 281 is actually the small cluster of stars at the centre of the nebula, which are blasting away the massive clouds of gas around them leaving behind columns of dust which can be seen at the bottom of the nebula. At some point these columns may play host to star formation. The mouth of Pacman is also created by a massive cloud of dark dust lying in front of the nebula. Exposure: 70* 600secs, ISO 800, 807mm, darks, bias Scope: Altair Astro 115EDT Camera: Canon 600Da Mount: NEQ6
News roundup: A few minor tidbits spotted in the NGC gameplay demonstration

A brief summary of today’s NGC Nico Nico Game Jikkyou Channel show

As mentioned earlier today, this week was the first in a series of NGC episodes featuring gameplay from Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi. I was at work when the video aired so I caught up later with Nico Nico’s time shift version.

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NGC 922: A Galactic Bullseye

Bright pink nebulae almost completely encircle spiral galaxy NGC 922 in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image. The distorted shape is not normal for this type of galaxy though. Its unusual form resulted from a smaller galaxy plunging right through the heart of it and out the other side some 330 million years ago. As the small galaxy passed through the middle of NGC 922, it set up ripples that disrupted the clouds of gas, and triggered the formation of new stars whose radiation then lit up the remaining gas. The bright pink color of the resulting nebulae is a characteristic sign of this process, and it is caused by excited hydrogen gas. This process of excitation and emission of light by gases is similar to that in neon signs.

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Image credit: NASA, ESA

The Lonely Galaxy

Most galaxies are part of a group or cluster where a neighboring galaxy is never far away. Galaxy NGC 6503 however, is an exception. This galaxy has found itself in a  lonely position, at the edge of a strangely empty patch of space called the Local Void. The Local Void is a huge stretch of space that is at least 150 million light-years across.

Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA