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Take a look at one of the rarest types of galaxy there is

“Less than 0.1% of all observed galaxies are Hoag-type galaxies.”

The left panel shows a false-color image of PGC 1000714. The right panel shows a B-I color index map that reveals both the outer ring (blue) and diffuse inner ring (light green).
The left panel shows a false-color image of PGC 1000714. The right panel shows a B-I color index map that reveals both the outer ring (blue) and diffuse inner ring (light green).
Image: Ryan Beauchemin

SCIENTISTS AT TWO US universities have got the first look at an extremely rare type of galaxy.

New research gives the first description of a well-defined elliptical-like core surrounded by two circular rings – a galaxy that appears to belong to a class of rarely observed, Hoag-type galaxies.

The galaxy has been discovered by researchers at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

“Less than 0.1% of all observed galaxies are Hoag-type galaxies,” says Burcin Mutlu-Pakdil, lead author of a paper on this work and a graduate student at the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics, University of Minnesota Twin Cities and University of Minnesota Duluth.

Hoag-type galaxies are round cores surrounded by a circular ring, with nothing visibly connecting them. The majority of observed galaxies are disc-shaped like our own Milky Way. Galaxies with unusual appearances give astronomers unique insights into how galaxies are formed and change.

Source: Adrian Smith/YouTube

While galaxy shapes can be the product of internal or external environmental interactions, the authors speculate that the outer ring may be the result of this galaxy incorporating portions of a once nearby gas-rich dwarf galaxy. They also say that inferring the history of the older inner ring would require the collection of higher-resolution infrared data.

Read: This blue light is the farthest-away galaxy ever seen

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