Cartwheel galaxy

Cartwheel galaxy

R826/0075

Rights Managed

Caption

Cartwheel galaxy. Optical image of the Cartwheel galaxy (centre) and its companions (lower right). The ring shape of the Cartwheel is due to a collision with one of the smaller galaxies. As the smaller galaxy passed through the Cartwheel, it caused a shock wave to spread outwards in a similar fashion to ripples on a pool of water. The shock wave led to a burst of star formation in the galaxy as it spread outward, leading to the bright ring seen here. Before the collision, the Cartwheel was probably a normal spiral galaxy. The ring is some 150, 000 light years in diameter. This galaxy lies around 500 million light years from Earth in the constellation Sculptor.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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