MOST BIZARRE GALAXIES IN THE UNIVERSE
Added on: 28th Aug 2016
Messier 82 known as M82, this galaxy is five times brighter than the
entire Milky Way due to the rapid birth of young stars, a rate
10 times greater than inside our own galaxy. Over time, stars
will be created so quickly they will devour each other.
(The red plumes coming out from the centre are glowing
hydrogen gas being ejected from M82’s centre.)
Formally known as Messier 63, the aptly nicknamed Sunflower
Galaxy looks as though it belongs in Vincent Van Gogh’s
repertoire. This cosmic beauty boasts bright, winding arms
made up of newly formed blue-white giant stars. Just as
with this sunflower design, galaxies are also known for
mimicking natural designs such as whirlpools and arms.
MACS J0717 is one of the strangest (astronomically-speaking)
galaxies on this list. Technically a galaxy cluster, MACS J0717
was formed by the collision of four other galaxies. A stream of
galaxies, gas, and dark matter over 13 million light years long
are colliding in an area already dense with matter, creating
fascinating images for us to see.
If Santa Claus has a favourite galaxy, it would be this one.
Messier 74 is often talked about by astronomers around
Christmas time since the spiral arms’ clusters of young blue
stars and the bright, glowing balls of ionized hydrogen
make it look like a Christmas wreath.
BABY BOOM GALAXY
A starburst galaxy about 12.2 billion light years away from
Earth, the Baby Boom Galaxy was discovered in 2008. The
aptly named galaxy takes the cake as the brightest starburst
galaxy in the very distant universe, thanks to its incredibly
rapid star formation, a rate of one star about every 2 hours.
In contrast, our Milky Way Galaxy produces a new star on
average once every 36 days.
MILKY WAY GALAXY
Our own Milky Way Galaxy is indeed one of the strangest
galaxies in the universe, one of the most impressive too;
and that’s not just us feeling proud. Our massive galaxy is
home to at least 100 billion planets and up to a trillion stars,
some of which are among the oldest in the known universe.
The galaxy cluster IDCS 1426 boasts multiple accolades.
Observed by scientists when the universe was less than a
third of its age today, IDCS 1426 is the most massive galaxy
cluster in the early universe. It also weighs nearly 500 trillion
Suns, a number that’s pretty hard for us to realistically
imagine. The bright, blue core of gas is the result of galactic
collision, sloshing around much as wine would slosh around
in a sommelier’s glass before settling.
I ZWICKY 18
The galaxy I Zwicky 18 has a host of titles as a starburst galaxy,
blue compact galaxy, dwarf irregular galaxy, and one of the
strangest galaxies in the universe. Astronomers are still
confused by this galaxy which shows star development typical
of galaxy formation from the earliest days of the universe.
(It’s also strange that a large amount of ionized helium is
present, making scientists wonder what is emitting radiation
strong enough to kick electrons off their helium atoms.)
NGC 6744 is a large spiral galaxy which astronomers believe
is one of the most similar to our own. Located about 30 million
light years away, the galaxy’s elongated core and puffy arms
are quite reminiscent of our Milky Way.