Saturday, September 16, 2023

Galaxy NGC 4632 Polar Ring

Environmental Science Education, STEM, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Earth & Space Science, Computation, Nature of Science

Ed Hessler

One thing hidden from optical telescopes is the Polar Ring of Galaxy NGC 4632. 

Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) features this ring composed of hydrogen gas, tells us how the image was made and offers a couple of hypotheses on their formation. It is another example of how new tools, techniques and science (computation) interact. Science and engineering.
I was interested to learn that other rings have been discovered using starlight. FiveThirtyEight Science by Rebecca Boyle has a comprehensive explanation of its use, especially in the detection of planets. 

APOD's image of the hidden polar ring serves as a frame for the galaxy with a tail just long enough to be in the shape of the letter 9.

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