| NGC 5746 is a spiral galaxy view edge-on from our perspective. This galaxy
is estimated to be 95 million light years way. Edge-on galaxies like this
provide astronomers with an opportunity to measure particular aspects of
spiral galaxies. In this case, astronomers can measure the velocity of stars
(by analyzing a the spectrum of the galaxy) at different distances along the
disk of the galaxy. From this they can determine a rotation curve of the galaxy
which may lead to measurements of the galaxy's mass or even mysterious things
such as "dark matter." Also notice how the central halo of this galaxy has
a box-like shape. Astronomers do not understand exactly how this shape evolved
- but a leading theory proposes that a barred spiral galaxy viewed from
this perspective might give rise to the box like structure.
|L R G B color production was used to create this image.||
Minimum credit line: Sherry and Steve Bushey/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
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