Previously-old-and-small-considered galaxy is actually a massive one
Scientists have named this very normal looking galaxy as the ‘Frankenstein galaxy’. The galaxy UGC 1382 was considered as an old, small and very ordinary elliptical galaxy. But as per new observations, it is actually it is 10 times larger than anyone thought and also, it is younger on the inside than what it is on the outside.
The galaxy has been named as the Frankenstein galaxy because as per scientists it has been stitched together from the pieces of many other galaxies. It is strange that such a revelation about the galaxy has come when it has been included in more than 40 different research papers. None of them was able to notice anything unusual about this galaxy.
Study researchers said that under optical light, everything about Galaxy UGC 1382 looked normal. Therefore, they decided to view it in the ultraviolet regime and it was then that they started to witness what has not been earlier.
The researchers mentioned that they started the observations for a complete different project and accidentally came across the discovery. The researchers looked at the images of the galaxy from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer.
Study’s co-author Mark Seibert of the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science said that they witnessed spiral arms in an elliptical galaxy, which is a rare thing. Second strange thing was the outer edges of a galaxy are younger than the inside. It is because galaxy forms from the center and then expands outwards, which is considered to be younger part.
But such was not the case with UGC 1382, which was having younger center than outside part. Study’s lead researcher Lea Hagen from Pennsylvania State University said that seeing this phenomenon, they have named it as the Frankenstein galaxy, as it has formed out of different galaxies.
Galaxy UGC 1382 is located 250 million light years from earth. Seibert said that it is present in such a position, where it has formed undisturbed by other nearby galaxies till the time it does not reach a noticeable size. Though it is very large, it is still very thin and diffuse. The researchers mentioned that very particular conditions in very specific environments are required for the formation of such galaxies.
“This rare, 'Frankenstein' galaxy formed and is able to survive because it lies in a quiet little suburban neighborhood of the universe, where none of the hubbub of the more crowded parts can bother it”, affirmed Seibert.
The researchers suspect that the galaxy’s large size might be hiding something else as well. But they also mentioned that the strange features found in Galaxy UGC 1382 are very rare. The scientists have affirmed that there is a possibility that more of such galaxies could be present. In order to find them more research on the matter is needed. The researchers think that by having a better understanding of this galaxy, they can have better clues as to how galaxies form on a larger scale and come to know about more about such galaxies.
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