NGC 3621 – “Flat as a pancake”

NGC 3621 – “Flat as a pancake”

Well, not exactly!

Far beyond the local group of galaxies lies NGC 3621, some 22 million light-years away. Found in the southern constellation Hydra.

This interesting spiral galaxy has beautiful winding spiral arms, Luminous blue star clusters, pinkish star forming regions and wonderful dust lanes. Interesting though, this spiral galaxy has a flat disk unlike other spirals which have a central bulge. Despite not having a central bulge, it has a system of three black holes in its central region.

For astronomers NGC 3621 has not been just another pretty face-on spiral galaxy. Some of its brighter stars have been used as standard candles to establish important estimates of extragalactic distances and the scale of the Universe.

©Mark Hanson-Mike Selby


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