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Waspie_Dwarf

Soft shells and strange star clusters

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Soft shells and strange star clusters

The beautiful, petal-like shells of galaxy PGC 6240 are captured here in intricate detail by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, set against a sky full of distant background galaxies. This cosmic bloom is of great interest to astronomers due to both its uneven structure, and the unusual clusters of stars that orbit around it — two strong indications of a galactic merger in the recent past.

PGC 6240 is an elliptical galaxy that resembles a pale rose in the sky, with hazy shells of stars encircling a very bright centre. Some of these shells are packed close to the centre of the galaxy, while others are flung further out into space. Several wisps of material have been thrown so far that they appear to be almost detached from the galaxy altogether.

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Zooming in on PGC 6240

This video sequence begins with a zoom through the constellation of Hydrus in the night sky, finishing with Hubble observations of PGC 6240, an elliptical galaxy with a merger-induced shell structure.

Credit: NASA, ESA, Digitized Sky Survey 2. Music: movetwo. Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

Source: ESA Hubble Site

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Panning across PGC 6240

This video pans across Hubble observations of PGC 6240. The shells that make up the galaxy were caused by a galactic merger some time in the recent past, an event that disrupted and shaped the material in the galaxy..

Credit: NASA & ESA. Music: movetwo. Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

Source: ESA Hubble Site

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