In a significant development, NASA has discovered a huge spiral galaxy that has been named NGC 3227. According to the US-based space agency, this galaxy is wrapped in a “gravitational dance”, along with NGC 3226, believed to be an elliptical galaxy. The two galaxies have been collectively called Arp 94.
Both galaxies are nearly 50 and 60 million light-years from Earth and are located in the constellation Leo. The pair of galaxies is linked with faint tidal streams of gas and dust in its dance.The space agency has further discovered that NGC 3227 is the Seyfert Galaxy. This type of galaxy consists of a supermassive black hole at the centre and is an accrete metal which releases large amounts of radiation.
Researchers believe that nearly 10 percent of all galaxies could be Seyfert galaxies. Notably, the discovery was made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, when it was studying both galaxies to measure black hole masses, while researching the gas at the centres of galaxy clusters. In the image, the red-coloured parts suggest both the red and near-infrared wavelengths of light.
As per reports, researchers are trying to find out the reasons for galaxies falling mostly into two categories. Either they are younger star-forming spirals like the Milky Way or older elliptical galaxies. Notably, galaxies like NGC 3226 have a transitional middle ground, which gives an opportunity for researchers to study the transitions of one galaxy into another one.
The study so far has revealed that numerous gassy loops with stars have emerged from NGC 3226. Also, the filaments from it to NGC 3227. This development suggests that another galaxy might have existed there till NGC 3226 spread the pieces of the shredded galaxy across the vicinity.
One of these leftovers stretches 100,000 light-years and extends into NGC 3226.This ends as a plume of warm hydrogen gas and dust. This tail falls into the 3226 galaxy, which is attracted by the gravity of a black hole in the centre.