This big, bright, beautiful spiral galaxy is Messier 64, often called the Black Eye Galaxy or the Sleeping Beauty Galaxy for its heavy-lidded appearance in telescopic views. M64 is about 17 million light-years distant in the otherwise well-groomed northern constellation Coma Berenices. In fact, the Red Eye Galaxy might also be an appropriate moniker in this colorful composition. The enormous dust clouds obscuring the near-side of M64’s central region are laced with the telltale reddish glow of hydrogen associated with star forming regions. But they are not this galaxy’s only peculiar feature. Observations show that M64 is actually composed of two concentric, counter-rotating systems. While all the stars in M64 rotate in the same direction as the interstellar gas in the galaxy’s central region, gas in the outer regions, extending to about 40,000 light-years, rotates in the opposite direction. The dusty eye and bizarre rotation is likely the result of a billion year old merger of two different galaxies.
- Anti-AI: Disruption Has Officially Disrupted Disruption
- Saturn’s Rings Play Crucial Role In Heating Its Atmosphere
- Experts call for a Pause on AI Development
- Mystery Solved: Comet ‘Oumuamua’s Odd Trajectory Explained
- Cordyceps Zombie Fungus In The Last of Us: Is It Real?
- Dark Energy Could Cause Universe To Multiply Like Gremlins
- NASA’s Webb Telescope Discovers Massive Galaxies from Early Universe
- AI Chatbots Pose a Growing Threat of Disinformation
- Google Tracks You Even If You’re Not Signed In
- Best Way To Solve Global Warming? Methane-Eating Bacteria
Follow @CosmosoNet on Twitter