The galaxy known as NGC 5907 stretches wide across this image. Appearing as an elongated line of stars and dark dust, the galaxy is categorized as a spiral galaxy just like our own Milky Way. In this new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, we don’t see the beautiful spiral arms because we are viewing it edge-on, like looking at the rim of a plate. It is for this reason that NGC 5907 is also known as the Knife Edge galaxy.

The Knife Edge galaxy is about 50 million light-years from Earth, lying in the northern constellation of Draco. Although not visible in this image, ghostly streams of stars on large arching loops extend into space, circling around the galaxy; they are believed to be remnants of a small dwarf galaxy, torn apart by the Knife Edge galaxy and merged with it over 4 billion years ago.

Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency)
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. de Jong; Acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)

被称为NGC 5907的星系在这幅图像上延伸得很宽。这个由恒星和黑暗尘埃组成的细长线条的星系被归类为一个螺旋星系,就像我们的银河系一样。在这张由NASA/ESA哈勃太空望远镜拍摄的新图像中,我们并没有看到美丽的旋臂,因为我们看到的是它的侧面,就像在看一个盘子的边缘。正因为如此,NGC 5907又被称为刀锋星系。

刀锋星系距离地球约5000万光年,位于天座的北部。虽然在这幅图像中看不到,但幽灵般的恒星流在巨大的拱形环上延伸到太空中,围绕着星系盘旋;它们被认为是一个小矮星星系的残骸,在40亿年前被刀刃星系撕裂并与之合并。

文字来源:ESA(欧洲航天局)
图片来源:ESA/Hubble和NASA, R. de Jong; 致谢:朱迪·施密特(Geckzilla)

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