Feeds

ESO spies warped, star-forming spiral galaxy

As seen by an EU commissioner

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The European Southern Observatory has released a new image of nearby spiral galaxy NCG-134, revealing a place very similar to our own galaxy, but with a significant difference: the galaxy's spiral disk is twisted.

ESO picture of galaxy NGC-134

ESO picture of galaxy NGC-134.

Our own galaxy does have a small warp in it, but the distortion in NGC-134 is much more pronounced. Researchers at the observatory describe it as looking like a vinyl record* that has been left out in the sun for too long.

The cause of the warps - which are present in roughly half of all known spiral galaxies - is still unknown. The distortion could be the result of a collision with another galaxy - such encounters are known to leave trails of material as the two galaxies pull apart again. NCG-134 does have a small "tail", the researchers say, stripped from the top edge of its disk.

The image, captured on ESO's VLT by visiting EU commissioner for science and research, Janez Potočnik, also shows the galaxy has some star-forming regions, shown as red in the image, full of ionised hydrogen gas.

You can download a full resolution image here (3MB), and read Potočnik's blog entry visit here. ®

*What music came on, before BitTorrent.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.