Very Large Telescope Captures A New Image Of Stunning NGC 1055 Spiral Galaxy

First Posted: Mar 03, 2017 03:17 AM EST

The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile captured a new image of the spiral galaxy NGC 1055, which is the older sister of the Milky Way. The galaxy is about 55 million lightyears away from the planet Earth and located in the constellation of Cetus referred to as the "sea monster."

In the image below, it showed a colorful array of stars, gas and dust. The arms of this spiral galaxy and its bright core can be seen in beautiful detail. On the other hand, the orientation does not show its three-dimensional shape. Most spiral galaxies in the universe take on all manner of orientations relative to Earth, according to ESO.

The new image of NGC 1055 must be seen edge-on to have a view of the overall shape of spiral galaxy. In this photo, the whirling arms, which are the characteristics of a spiral galaxy, are not fully seen. On the other hand, it showed strange twists in its structure that might be caused by an interaction with a massive neighboring galaxy, according to CBC.

NGC 1055 was discovered on Dec. 19, 1783, by William Herschel. This spiral galaxy is one of the largest galaxies in a small galaxy group that also includes NGC 1073 and five other small irregular galaxies. It is a binary system and a bright infrared and radio source.

NGC 1055 is noticeable for its nuclear bulge crossed by an extensive dark lane of dust and gas. Its spiral arm structure is elevated above the plane of the galaxy and shrouds the upper half of the bulge. 

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