- The Hubble Space Telescope found galaxy NGC 2276 is being twisted by a neighboring galaxy
- Because of gravity, NGC 2300 is impacting NGC 22275 and causing it to 'strangely lopsided appearance,' pulling its outer edges out of shape
- Galaxy NGC 2276's appearance is also impacted by superheated gas that pervades galaxy clusters
- NGC 2276 is in the Cepheus constellation, approximately 120 million light-years from EarthThough it's set to be replaced by the James Webb Telescope later this year, the 31-year-old Hubble Space Telescope is still making incredible discoveries, this time finding a spiral galaxy that has been twisted by a nearby galaxy.
The galaxy, known as NGC 2276, is being deformed by its smaller neighbor NGC 2300, because of gravity, the European Space Agency said in a release.
NGC 2300 is causing NGC 2276 to have a 'strangely lopsided appearance,' pulling its outer edges out of shape.
Galaxy NGC 2276's appearance is also impacted by 'superheated' gas that pervades galaxy clusters, the agency added.
The celestial interaction between the two galaxies also gives the false impression that NGC 2276 is head-on with Earth, though it is not.
NGC 2276 is in the Cepheus constellation, approximately 120 million light-years from Earth.
A light-year, which measures distance in space, is approximately 6 trillion miles
Because it is misshapen, NGC 2276 has earned a spot in The Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies — a catalogue of unusual galaxies published in 1966, not once but twice.
The first time was for its lopsided spiral arms and later for its interaction with NGC 2300.
'NGC 2276’s recent burst of star formation is also related to the appearance of more exotic inhabitants — black holes and neutron stars in binary systems,' ESA said in the statement.
The Milky Way is also considered a spiral galaxy, among the most common types of galaxies.
These galaxies have arms that stretch out from the center of them to form pin-wheel like or spiral structures.
Most spiral galaxies are comprised of a flat, rotating disk of stars, gas and dust. The group of stars in the center is known as a bulge.
The Hubble recently marked its 31st anniversary in space, doing so with an image of a giant star that is 'on the edge of destruction'.