NGC 3169 “The Scorpion Galaxy”

NGC 3169 “The Scorpion Galaxy”

Spiral galaxy NGC 3169 appears to be ready for the strike. Well, only with a bit of imagination.

Spiral galaxy NGC 3169 appears to be unraveling in this cosmic scene, played out some 70 million light-years away just below bright star Regulus toward the faint constellation Sextans.

Its beautiful spiral arms are distorted into sweeping tidal tails as NGC 3169 (left) and neighboring NGC 3166 (right) exhibits distortion in its dust lanes as they interact gravitationally, eventually probably tearing each other apart. This is often the case for proximate galaxies in the local universe. In fact, drawn out stellar arcs and plumes, indications of gravitational interactions, seem rampant in the deep and colorful galaxy group photo. Smaller, dimmer NGC 3165 at bottom right.

NGC 3169 is also known to shine across the spectrum from radio to X-rays, harboring an active galactic nucleus that is likely the site of a supermassive black hole.  NGC 3169

© Mark Hanson


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