NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 23 February 2023: The weird Spiral Galaxy Arp 78 | Tech News

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 23 February 2023: The weird Spiral Galaxy Arp 78

NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is an enthralling picture of the peculiar Spiral Galaxy Arp 78.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Feb 23 2023, 11:30 IST
Best NASA Astronomy Pictures of the week: Comet ZTF, Hydra Galaxy Cluster, Airglow and more
Spiral Galaxy
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Spiral Galaxy
2/5 Heart and Soul Nebulae (Feb 14) - NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day on February 14 was a celebration of Valentine's Day in the form of the Heart and the Soul Nebulae which are located about 6000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Cassiopeia. Both nebulas shine brightly in the red light of energized hydrogen, one of three colors shown in this three-color montage. Light takes about 6,000 years to reach us from these nebulas, which together span roughly 300 light years.  (NASA/Juan Lozano de Haro)
Spiral Galaxy
3/5 Airglow (Feb 15) - NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day for Feb 15 was a stunning picture of Airglow in the skies over Château de Losse in southwest France. It wasn’t just airglow that was visible. Various celestial objects were also seen, including Orion Nebula, California Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, Mars, Sirius, Pleiades Star Cluster and the Milky Way Galaxy.  (NASA/Julien Looten)
Spiral Galaxy
4/5 Hydra Galaxy Cluster (Feb 16) - Hydra Cluster of galaxies is one of the three large galaxy clusters within 200 million light-years of the Milky Way and it is surrounded by millions of stars. The galaxy cluster is over 100 million light-years away in the constellation Hydra. Three large galaxies near the cluster center, two yellow ellipticals (NGC 3311, NGC 3309) and one prominent blue spiral (NGC 3312), are the dominant galaxies, each about 150,000 light-years in diameter. (NASA/Marco Lorenzi/Angus Lau/Tommy Tse)
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5/5 Asteroid 2023 CX1 (Feb 17) - A 3.2 feet wide asteroid lit up the skies over Europe on February 12 as it turned into a fireball. The asteroid, named SAR 2667 or Asteroid 2023 CX1, turned into a fireball over the European skies where it was captured by astronomers and skywatchers. It was first discovered by Krisztian Sarneczky with a 2-foot telescope at Konkoly Observatory's Piszkesteto Station, located about 100 kilometers northeast from Budapest.   (NASA/Gijs de Reijke)
Spiral Galaxy
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Arp 78 is a spiral galaxy located nearly 100 million light-years away, as per NASA. (NASA/Josep Drudis)

Gravity binds a galaxy, which is a vast assembly of gas, dust, billions of stars, and their respective solar systems. Galaxies exhibit an array of sizes, ranging from diminutive dwarf galaxies with a meager population of a few billion stars to colossal elliptical galaxies with trillions of stars. While most galaxies have elliptical shapes, some possess unique shapes, such as toothpicks or rings. One of the most amazing shapes in which galaxies exist is the Spiral Galaxy.

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a picture of a spiral galaxy named Arp 78. It is an enormous galaxy which spans nearly 200,000 light-years across and exists almost 100 million light-years away in the constellation Aries. Arp 78 is also known as NGC 772. Alongside Arp 78, another faint galaxy can be seen, which is NGC 770. The picture was captured by astrophotographer Josep Drudis.

What is a Spiral Galaxy?

According to NASA, Spiral galaxies are actively forming stars that make up a large amount of all the galaxies in our nearby universe. They can be further divided into two groups: normal spirals and barred spirals. In barred spirals, a bar of stars runs through the central bulge of the galaxy.

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NASA's description of the picture

Peculiar spiral galaxy Arp 78 is found within the boundaries of the head strong constellation Aries. Some 100 million light-years beyond the stars and nebulae of our Milky Way galaxy, the island universe is an enormous 200,000 light-years across. Also known as NGC 772, it sports a prominent, outer spiral arm in this detailed cosmic portrait.

Tracking along sweeping dust lanes and lined with young blue star clusters, Arp 78's overdeveloped spiral arm is pumped-up by galactic-scale gravitational tides. Interactions with its brightest companion galaxy, the more compact NGC 770 seen above and right of the larger spiral, are likely responsible. Embedded in faint star streams revealed in the deep telescopic exposure, NGC 770's fuzzy, elliptical appearance contrasts nicely with spiky foreground Milky Way stars in matching yellowish hues.

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First Published Date: 23 Feb, 11:29 IST
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