Look intently on the serpent constellation slithering via the northern sky, and also you would possibly see a galaxy inside a galaxy inside a galaxy. Also called, Hoag’s object!
This cosmic turducken is named Hoag’s object, and it has befuddled stargazers since astronomer Arthur Hoag found it in 1950.
The thing in query is a uncommon, ring-shaped galaxy measuring some 100,000 light-years throughout (barely bigger than the Milky Manner) and situated 600 million light-years from Earth. In a current picture of the oddball object taken by the Hubble House Telescope and processed by geophysicist Benoit Blanco, a shiny ring of billions of blue stars types an ideal circle round a a lot smaller and denser sphere of reddish stars. At the hours of darkness hole between the 2 stellar circles, one other ring galaxy — a lot, a lot farther away from us — peeks out to say whats up.
What is going on on right here, and what tore Hoag’s object in two? Astronomers nonetheless aren’t positive; ring galaxies account for lower than 0.1% of all identified galaxies, and they also aren’t the simplest objects to review. Hoag himself instructed that the galaxy’s peculiar ring formation was merely an optical phantasm attributable to gravitational lensing (an impact that happens when extraordinarily high-mass objects bend and amplify mild). Later research with higher telescopes disproved this concept.
One other widespread speculation means that Hoag’s object was as soon as a extra frequent, disk-shaped galaxy however an historical collision with a neighboring galaxy ripped a gap via the disk’s stomach and completely warped its gravitational pull. If such a collision occurred within the final three billion years, then astronomers trying via radio telescopes ought to have been capable of see a few of the fallout from the accident. No such proof has been discovered.
If there was a cosmic crash on the core of Hoag’s object, it will need to have occurred so way back that every one the proof has been swept away. With solely a handful of different identified ring galaxies out there to review (none of which exhibits the superbly symmetrical traits discovered on this one), Hoag’s object stays a thriller wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma — you already know, like a turducken.