Astronomers Uncover Surprising Abundance of Polar Ring Galaxy in the Universe
Astronomers have made a surprising discovery of two potential polar ring galaxy. (Photo: BNN Breaking)
Surprising Discovery: Commonality of Polar Ring Galaxy Challenges Prevailing Beliefs and Illuminates Cosmic Mysteries
According to Space article, astronomers have discovered two potential polar ring galaxy, NGC 4632 and NGC 6156, challenging the belief that they are rare celestial phenomena. These two polar ring galaxy have a unique ring of stars and gas positioned at a right angle to their central disks and surrounding stars. This revelation questions the rarity of polar ring galaxy, suggesting they may be more common than previously thought, with estimates of one to three percent of nearby galaxies potentially having gaseous polar rings—far more than optical telescopes had indicated.
NGC 4632 and NGC 6156, found in the Virgo and Ara constellations, respectively, concealed their unique ring features in visible light but revealed them through radio observations. These polar ring galaxy are believed to form during galactic mergers when larger galaxies consume smaller ones, causing a stream of matter to be drawn from the smaller galaxy.
If polar ring galaxy are more common, it implies these mergers occur frequently. Studying these galaxies not only enhances our understanding of their prevalence but also provides insights into dark matter haloes enveloping galaxies, influencing matter distribution. This discovery has significant implications for comprehending galactic growth and the universe’s evolution.
Breakthrough Sky Mapping and Multi-Wavelength Research Illuminate Galactic Mysteries
According to Flipboard, The discovery of NGC 4632 and NGC 6156’s unique features resulted from a comprehensive analysis of data from the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). Jayanne English, a scientist from the University of Manitoba, utilized optical and infrared data from the Subaru telescope to resolve the galaxies’ spiral disks.
Radio data from ASKAP’s Widefield ASKAP L-band Legacy All-sky Blind survey (WALLABY) revealed the polar disks. This underscores the value of comprehensive sky mapping and multi-wavelength exploration. This discovery provides insights into the gas motion within these polar rings, offering clues about galaxy evolution.
Researchers plan to confirm these findings by further investigating these two polar ring galaxy using various telescopes, including South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope.