Astronomers have recently discovered a rare type of galaxy 359 million light-years from Earth that has come with a bit of a surprise.
This galaxy, named unimpressive as PGC 1000714 is not exactly like any galaxy you are familiar with. Instead of the more commonly known type with wide spiral arms, this is a rare galaxy and often has been referred to as a ring galaxy. All the ring galaxies that have been discovered so far contain a ring around a bright, central core. But, this newly discovered object has two rings.
Researchers have found this second faint ring while studying PGC 1000714. The outer ring was just 0.13 billion years old and the central core is more than 5.5 billion year-old. But while evaluating the data they have collected, it has been found that another faint is there with a red ring around the centre.
The most well-known type of ring galaxy is Hoag's Object, which is 600 million light years far from Earth. Burcin Mutlu-Pakdil, lead author of a paper on this work said that"Less than 0.1 percent of all observed galaxies are Hoag-type galaxies,".
Rings around galaxies have been believed to be regions where the stars are formed due to the collision of gases. In the case of this new object, the different colours suggested that the stars had been formed at different times.
The scientists stated that discovering such a new structure, challenges current theories about the formation of the universe and illustrates the vastness which is yet to learn.
By Prakriti Neogi