The polar ring of Arp 230

This Picture of the Week shows Arp 230, also known as IC 51, observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Arp 230 is a galaxy of an uncommon or peculiar shape, and is therefore part of the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies produced by Halton Arp. Its irregular shape is thought to be the result of a violent collision with another galaxy sometime in the past. The collision could also be held responsible for the formation of the galaxy’s polar ring.

The outer ring surrounding the galaxy consists of gas and stars and rotates over the poles of the galaxy. It is thought that the orbit of the smaller of the two galaxies that created Arp 230 was perpendicular to the disc of the second, larger galaxy when they collided. In the process of merging the smaller galaxy would have been ripped apart and may have formed the polar ring structure astronomers can observe today.

Arp 230 is quite small for a lenticular galaxy, so the two original galaxies forming it must both have been smaller than the Milky Way.

A version of this image was entered into the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures image processing competition by flickr user Det58.

Links

Credit:

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Flickr user Det58

About the Image

Id:potw1504a
Type:Observation
Release date:26 January 2015, 10:00
Size:1097 x 849 px

About the Object

Name:Arp 230, IC 51
Type:Milky Way : Galaxy : Type : Lenticular
Distance:60 million light years
Constellation:Cetus
Category:Galaxies

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529.9 KB
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328.4 KB

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Coordinates

Position (RA):0 46 23.32
Position (Dec):-13° 26' 42.88"
Field of view:1.83 x 1.42 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 67.0° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Ultraviolet
U
336 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
R
675 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

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