NGC 2273 galaxy is located approximately 93.6 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation known as Lynx. Also dubbed LEDA 19688, Mrk 620, as well as UGC 3546, the outstanding cosmic body has a diameter of about 100,000 light-years.
Identifies by the Swedish astronomer Nils Christoffer Dunér on September 15th, 1867, the object is the brightest galaxy in a galaxy cluster known as the NGC 2273 group. It is a peculiar spiral galaxy that took shape after two other galaxies collided with each other, a process also known as a ‘galaxy merger.’
The cosmic object has been photographed by Hubble Space Telescope with its Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). The color image was assembled from various exposures captured in the visible and infrared regions of the telescope’s camera, and it is based on data collected through five filters.
“At first glance, NGC 2273 looks to be a simple spiral galaxy, with two pinwheeling arms emerging from a central bar of stars and material that cuts through the galactic center,” Hubble astronomers said. “In fact, there are rings within these spiral arms, too: spirals within a spiral. This kind of morphology is known as a multiring structure.”
The Galaxy Can Outshine the Milky Way
NGC 2273 has an inner ring and two exterior pseudorings. These rings are created when a galaxy’s spiral arms seem to loop around and almost close upon each other, merged with a ‘trick of cosmic perspective,’ astronomers explained.
“NGC 2273’s two pseudorings are formed by two swirling sets of spiral arms coming together, and the inner ring by two arcing structures nearer to the galactic center, which seems to connect in a similar way,” as per Hubble researchers.
However, these rings are not the only peculiar feature of this cosmic body. NGC 2273 is also a Seyfert galaxy, which is an object with an incredibly bright core. As a matter of fact, the nucleus of a galaxy such as this is fueled by a supermassive black hole and is able to glow sufficiently bright to eclipse an entire galaxy like our Milky Way.