The Strange Cartwheel Galaxy – Cartwheel Galaxy

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The Strange Cartwheels Galaxy


The Strange Cartwheel Galaxy is a lenticular ring galaxy located in the constellation Sculptor around 500 million light-years distant. The Strange Cartwheel Galaxy has a D25 isophotal diameter of 44.23 kiloparsecs, a mass of roughly 2.9-4.8 109 solar masses, and a circular velocity of 217 km/s in its outer ring. Fritz Zwicky found it in 1941.


You are familiar with the concept of galaxies. And we ourselves live in a galaxy called Milky Way. There are several hundred millions stars in it.

Likewise, there are other elliptical shaped galaxies and we call them elliptical galaxies.

The Magellanic Clouds


And there are some, which are neither spiral nor elliptical we call them irregular galaxies such as our neighbor  ‘Large Magellanic Clouds’.

The Strange Cartwheel Galaxy

This is a The Strange Cartwheel Galaxy its prominent feature is a ring. These types of galaxies are called ring galaxies.


How did these Strange Cartwheel Galaxies form?


There is a surprising story to it. You can learn about it if you take a stone and drop it into a lake, astronomers thinks this The Strange Cartwheel Galaxy was formed the some way as ripples or formed in the lake.


The Strange Cartwheels Galaxy


Radius:  65,000 light years

Discovered:  1941

Apparent Time:  3.8 Billion M☉

Distance to Earth: 500 million light years

Coordinates:  RA 0h 37m 41s | Dec -33° 42′ 59″

Discoverer:  Fritz Zwicky


The Strange Cartwheels Galaxy is 500 million light years away from us. In a sense it is very far but compare to the width of the universe, astronomers, call it a nearby galaxy.

Stars in Strange Cartwheel Galaxy
This is a picture taken by the Hubble telescope.


You can see a blue ring which dominates the picture. These are actually new stars (the blue ones) and most of them are in included in this ring. The diameter of the ring is 150,000 light years. You can fit our Milky Way galaxy easily in this. The cartwheel galaxy was discovered by astronomers Fritz Zwicky in 1941. When he saw the cartwheel galaxy he said ‘ this is one of the most complicated structure in the universe’ and in reality, this is an incredible thing. This is a galaxy in which new stars are forming in the ring. In between there is a spiral type structure, but in that there are mostly old Stars.

This is inverse in sense because usually there are new stars in the spiral arms. This is a big puzzle.

How was the Strange Cartwheel galaxy formed?

Two Others Small Galaxy with Strange Cartwheel Galaxy
This Picture Also taken by Hubble Space Telescope


Now in this picture by the Hubble space telescope, so you are seeing two other small galaxies with the strange cartwheel galaxy. One is a small spiral galaxy, which is yellow. It mostly has old stars. And alongside is an other irregular Galaxy which has blue stars meaning there are mostly new stars there.


So how was the strange cartwheel galaxy formed?


Astronomers think this is a result of a collision. Actually the astronomers think that the strange cartwheel galaxy in the beginning was a spiral galaxy. But about 300 million years before another small galaxy past exactly so it’s center and because of its passing through. When shock waves compressed, the gases, the stars were formed in the shape of ring.

This is just like when you throw a small stone into a lake or drop it in water ripples start moving away in a circular form. Similarly, astronomers think that when this small galaxy passed through the disturbance (the shock waves) compressed the gas and dust, and because of compression new stars were formed. The ring you are saying is the place where a new stars word form due to compression.

In fact there are 200 million stars in the ring of the strange cartwheel galaxy.

This is a computer simulation of the formation of the strange cartwheel galaxy.

In this, we have compressed several million years into a few seconds. This is small galaxy colliding with the cartwheel galaxy type, spiral galaxy and slowly the small galaxy pass through it. It’s on shift change but the ripples in the gas were in circular form and this is a place where the ring was formed. This was about the past of cartwheel galaxy.


The question is what is the future of the strange cartwheel galaxy?


If you see the picture by Hubble Space Telescope closely  you’ll see spokes type things. There are some lines in the ring which are connected to the central area 8 meters that a lot of stars have started forming in the middle also. Astronomers think that a little time (a little time in several billion years) the cartwheel galaxy will re-from a spiral structure. Meaning after this collision this ring formation (all a temporary phase) will become a spiral galaxy again.

You can raise a question that whether our own Milky Way galaxy (which is a spiral galaxy) passed through this thing phase or did it have this type of collision in the past or not. We do not have evidence of that. To assumption this type of Kylian did not take place in the Milky Way but it happen in other galaxies because you require a specific type of orientation for this. The Galaxy must pass right through the center and we thing no such collision took place in the Milky Way, but the Milky Way is not an innocent galaxy because it has the devoured many small galaxies, and is gobbling up more.

In fact, these large Magellanic Clouds will at some time merge into the Milky Way. But who is the prime Suspect of the strange cartwheel galaxy?


Which galaxy pass through its center?


For along time astronomers part that out of the two galaxies near it (the yellow one and blue one) one passed through it but when it was study in detailed both provided some problems some challenges. It did not look there were responsible.

Now as anonymous know, there is a galaxy which is 300,000 light years away. And you remember the interaction also took place about three lac year before so it is assumed that this Galaxy passed through this the strange cartwheel galaxy due to which this thing structure was formed.

But is there any evidence of it present or not.

Yes, and astronomers got a smoking gun evidence when they saw it in hydrogen gas.

Distance of the cartwheel galaxy
You are seeing an image here from a distance of the cartwheel galaxy


And in this, you can see some contours these contours are of hydrogen gas and you see the link the cartwheel galaxy all the way to that third Galaxy. And this hydrogen gas (this type of signature) tell us if there has been an interaction in the past, these galaxies drag this that, and the signature remain for a long time. These hydrogen bridges or tails are used by astronomers to find out this type of interaction. We now know this third galaxy was responsible through this strange cartwheel galaxy.

This is an amazing thing this image by the Hubble telescope in one of my favorite image. This interaction takes several hundred million years to reach this shape but the amazing King is humans, small creatures on the earth can find out the history of these interactions. We can tell how this thing structure which took several hundred million years to make was formed, and how did the Galaxy pass through it.


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