Galaxy with a Warped Dust Lane

Galaxy with a Warped Dust Lane
From The European Southern Observatory
This image shows a sky field in the southern constellation Hydra (The Water Snake) that includes the peculiar spiral galaxy ESO 510-13. It resembles the famous "Sombrero" galaxy, but its equatorial dust plane is pronouncedly warped. The velocity is 3300 km/sec, the distance is about 170 million light-years, and the size is 100,000 light-years. The photo displays a very large number of fainter objects near this galaxy. Many of these are likely to be globular clusters of stars associated with the galaxy; others are background galaxies. It would indeed appear that ESO 510-13 is located right in front of one or more, distant clusters of galaxies . That the dust band and the rest of this galaxy are not well aligned is a clear sign that the former was acquired recently (in astronomical terms). The dust band is still in the process of achieving a more stable state by becoming flat. It is not obvious how it was formed; it may for instance be the result of a merger with a gas-rich dwarf galaxy and the elliptical galaxy.  The field size is 6.8 arcmin x 6.8 arcmin; North is up and East is to the left.
Based on press release with ESO PR Photo 20e/99
Catalog #: Photo 20e/99
Target Name: Galaxy with Warped Dust Lane

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 Last Modified On: Sunday, December 17, 2000