NASA’s Hubble Telescope has captured a stunning giant Elliptical Galaxy, which is 2.5 times larger than our own Milky Way galaxy! The elliptical galaxy which has been dubbed as NGC 474, is situated roughly 100 million light-years from Earth. The Hubble telescope captured a close-up look of the galaxy's centre, revealing its massive scale. NGC 474 is 2.5 times the size of our own Milky Way galaxy, measuring around 250,000 light-years wide. According to NASA, the size of the NGC 474 isn't its only distinguishing attribute, which released the stunning image on May 18.
Not just its enormous size, the image of Galaxy NGC 474 has shown a series of complex layered shells that surround its spherical-shaped core in a beautiful manner. NASA couldn’t find the source of these layered shells, but astronomers believe that these shells may be the after-effects of the process of absorption of one or more smaller galaxies into this giant one. The same way a pebble creates ripples on a pond when dropped into the water. These shells around the NGC 474 could have the same ripples effect after the galactic merger. Also Read: NASA Voyager 1 space probe sends data to Earth that shocks scientists!
NASA explained the structure of this giant galaxy, “About 10% of elliptical galaxies have shell structures, but unlike the majority of elliptical galaxies, which are associated with galaxy clusters, shelled ellipticals usually lie in relatively empty space.” The report further explained, "It may be that they've cannibalized their neighbors." Also Read: Tragedy averted! NASA cancels spacewalks after water fills up astronaut’s helmet
How NASA's Hubble Telescope captures this new image of Galaxy NGC 474 while depicting the stunning yet complex shells around it? This new image of the Galaxy was captured while using data from Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. NASA mentioned that additional gap-filling data was provided by Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 and Wide Field Camera 3 to create the final output of this giant galaxy. Along with the technique, the space agency shared a detailed image explaining that the colour blue represents visible blue light while the colour orange represents near-infrared light around the Galaxy.
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