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天上的鯨魚

仰首雲天,有時,望穿此圖這般的光雲,你的心眼也能見到百劫千載以來的靈性上師,如同阿張蘭石少時的魚神。

美國國家航空航天局(NASA)今年公佈了距離地球2500萬光年的奇特星系照片,這酷似「鯨魚」的星系,五彩繽紛於黑色天際,赫然醒目。美國宇航局研究員給它取了個學名叫NGC 463,但是人們喜歡叫它宇宙青魚(the Cosmic Herring)或鯨魚星系(the Whale Galaxy)。

鯨魚星系NGC 463 是雙魚座的一個星系,大小與銀河系相近。因該星系略顯扭曲的明亮橫面,能很容易地辨認出來。
運用高倍望遠鏡,科學家還在鯨魚星系附近發現了它的一個伴星系,就是在圖像的下邊界有一個曲棍球棒狀的星系,命名為NGC 4656。
美國宇航局的科學家指出,根據星系的扭曲程度以及對其氣體和塵埃的波長檢測,可以推斷這兩個星系在數百萬年前曾經近距離接觸過。

Swimming into view from 25million light years away, the Whale Galaxy
 

By Daily Mail Reporter 
Last updated at 8:22 AM on 05th May 2009

Its colours stretching across the inky blackness of outer space this curiously shaped galaxy has been sighted 25 million light years away.

Its technical name from Nasa researchers is NGC 463 but others have likened it to the Cosmic Herring or The Whale Galaxy.

In this gorgeous colour image,  the galaxy's yellowish core, dark dust clouds, bright blue star clusters, and red star forming regions glow brightly. It is also known to have spouted a halo of hot gas at one point.

 

The Whale Galaxy

Nasa scientists have released this stunning picture of the aptly titled Whale Galaxy. They were amazed by the galaxy's likeness to the mammalWhale

The galaxy, which is similar in size to our own Milky Way, was found near the northern constellation Canes Venatici.

Scientists said its slightly distorted wedge shape and bright clusters made it fairly easy to find.

Using high-powered telescopes, they also found a companion galaxy, off the lower edge of the picture - the hockey stick-shaped, scientific name NGC 4656.

Nasa scientists said the distortions and mingling trails of gas and dust detected at other wavelengths suggested that these two galaxies as well as the one to the top right have had close encounters with each other millions of years ago.

 

Enlarge   whale galaxy

The Whale galaxy can be seen in the top right with another galaxy above it. In the bottom left corner is the 'Hockey Stick' galaxy

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1177169/Swimming-view-25million-light-years-away-Whale-Galaxy.html#ixzz0MQwXmEMS

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