5 Strangest Galaxies in Our Universe

5 Strangest Galaxies in Our Universe

5 Strangest Galaxies in Our Universe
Image Credits: EurekAlert

The universe is considered a strange place because of its vast distances and long stretches of time. It has various types of galaxies and each one of them is populated by different celestial bodies. The study of these galaxies helps us to unravel certain mysteries about our universe. However, some of them are so weird that they can leave us in fear and astonishment. The following is the list of some of the strangest galaxies in our universe.

Galaxy without Dark Matter (NGC 1052-DF2)

Galaxy without Dark Matter - Strangest Galaxies

Dark matter theory is a linchpin of modern cosmology. It states that a huge portion of our universe exists in a form that we can’t see. This is the reason why the scientific world was stunned following this discovery of the Hubble Space Telescope.

In 2018, the telescope found a galaxy with almost no dark matter. It is also known as Ultra-Diffuse Galaxy (UDG). The announcement immediately raised red flags among astronauts because that would have changed everything we know about the universe. Dark matter is a mysterious form of matter that interacts with gravity, but not with light. It constitutes more of the total matter in the universe than the matter we can see.

Lack of dark matter would have definitely made NGC 1052-DF2 one of the strangest galaxies. However, scientific investigators solved the mystery by showing that the galaxy is only 45 million light-years away from us. In contrast to that, the estimated distance (from Earth) in the original finding was about 65 million light-years. This change in distance completely altered the calculations for the mass of this galaxy.

Dead Galaxy (MACS 2129-1)

Dead Galaxy - Strangest Galaxies

MACS 2129-1 is called a “dead galaxy” because it is NOT forming new stars. The discovery of this galaxy was very confusing. Scientists developed a concept that galaxies of this sort had come into existence by merging with smaller galaxies over time.

However, the stars of MACS 2129-1’s didn’t mold from these sorts of mergers. They formed in the disk of the original galaxy at the beginning of the universe. This makes it worthy to be in the list of strangest galaxies.

Although it’s spinning twice as fast as the Milky Way, this galaxy hasn’t made stars in about 10 billion years. According to research, the altering shape of dead galaxies is NOT dependent on external mergers. Instead, internal rearrangements are responsible for their structure. 

Tadpole Galaxy (UGC 10214)

Tadpole Galaxy - Strangest Galaxies

This gigantic tadpole is swimming through space at a distance of 300 million light-years from Earth. It’s so massive that the tail of this “tadpole” galaxy is a whopping 500,000 light-years long. 

The absurd galactic shape of UGC 10214 was the result of a cosmic collision. Researchers explained that a couple of disk galaxies pulled on a smaller dwarf galaxy to create this amazing phenomenon. This galactic interaction aggregated the stars on one end into a “head” and left a long “tail” on the other. This unique structure places UGC 10214 in the list of strangest galaxies.

Scientists predict that this is a temporary arrangement because the galaxies will ultimately merge together. They will also interact with some others in the surroundings to create one single galaxy. 

Little Cub Galaxy (NGC 3359)

Little Cub Galaxy

Little Cub is located in the constellation of Ursa Major at a distance of about 50-60 million light-years. This dwarf galaxy has the cutest name ever and has been largely inactive since the Big Bang. This is the reason why astronomers believe that it may contain some of the earliest molecules of the universe. 

A larger neighbor, NGC 3359, is continuously eating up the Little Cub. It is a Milky Way-like galaxy that is approximately 500 million years old (central bar). The astronomers are still quite interested in getting the sight of NGC 3359 in the hope of finding something amazing. They are trying to measure the signatures of the early-universe molecules before they’re consumed completely.

Blooming Galaxy (ESO 381-12)

Blooming Galaxy

The blooming galaxy is 270 million light-years from Earth and is located in the constellation Centaurus. ESO 381-12 makes to this list of strangest galaxies due to its petal-like blooms. Just like the petals of a flower, they are growing outward from the main galactic body. The lenticular shape (a mix between a spiral and a stretched-out elliptical galaxy) of ESO 381-12 adds to its mystery.

Scientists are still trying to determine the science of this weird phenomenon. Similarly, they are studying the groups of stars that orbit on the galaxy’s edges to find some answers. One of the popular theories suggests that the blooms are shock waves due to a relatively recent galactic collision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *