NGC 908, spiral galaxy in Cetus
Tags: galaxy, spiral
NGC 908 is a starburst galaxy in Cetus
, one that is undergoing a period of
intense star formation. This is why it has numerous clumps of bright
stars in its spiral arms and appears so bright on our photograph. It is
also asymmetrical, with a peculiar split in the spiral arm on the left
(eastern) side of the galaxy. Both these characteristics usually mean
the galaxy has been disturbed by some massive intruder, usually another
galaxy, but none is evident on the photograph or in the wider field
around NGC 908.
This does not mean there is no other galaxy involved. NGC 908 may have
been disturbed by a galaxy that is massive but faint, or the intruder
may have been destroyed or absorbed in the encounter. It may also be
hidden by being in the line of sight, behind the galaxy. It is quite
possible that (for example) someone looking at the Milky Way from the
Andromeda galaxy would not be able to see either of the Magellanic
Clouds which are prominent companions of our galaxy.
Made from "MITLL2" CCD RGB data obtained by Steve Lee and David Malin in December 1998
Top left is NE. Image width is about 7 arc min.
© Australian Astronomical Observatory