NGC 1961 is a problematic galaxy. Its highly disturbed and asymmetric
spiral arms would normally indicate an interaction or merger with
another galaxy. However, no culprit is found to be the source of
NGC 1961's angst. This galaxy is part of a group (of about 10 other smaller
galaxies) around 171 million light years away. Given the apparent size
and brightness of this galaxy- it must be one of the largest galaxies
in our "local" universe. Astronomers have observed this galaxy from
X-rays to radio wavelengths of light in order to unravel the mystery
of this galaxy's morphology. One recent paper concludes that the shape
of the galaxy may be due to its interaction with the gas in the cluster.
Most of this galaxy is still producing young and massive stars that
live short lives and die violent deaths as supernovae. The most recent
explosion in this galaxy was observed in 2001.
|L R G B color production was used to create this image.||
Minimum credit line: Doug Matthews/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
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