Researchers from NASA and ESA have achieved a new milestone after they recorded an impressive image of a flocculent galaxy. NGC 4237 is located at a distance of 60 million light-years away from Earth, in a constellation known as Coma Berenices.
The impressive galaxy was spotted more than two centuries ago by a renowned astronomer called William Herschel. Current data suggests that the galaxy has a diameter of 50,100 light-years, while also following a high radial orbit.
Flocculent galaxies tend to be hard to trace and identify due to their unusual arms. Unlike the arms of regular galaxies, those of a flocculent one tend to be discontinuous. The most iconic example of flocculent galaxies is represented by NGC 2841, which can be traced to the Ursa Major constellation.
The flocculent galaxy snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope is huge
Initial data suggested that NGC 2841, which was also discovered by William Herschel, had a diameter of 30 million light-years. However, data recorded during a Hubble Space Telescope survey of the Cepheid variables that can be measured within the galaxy has revealed that it is considerably more prominent, with an actual size of 46 million light-years.
A composite image of NGC 437 reveals a spectacular vista as the spiral galaxy is filled with blue, white, and dots. Each dot is a star or a star system which may house interesting planets. The team wanted to learn more about the galactic core and the central region of the galaxy, which are believed to be quite old.
It is theorized that we could learn valuable information by observing the center of such galaxies, including the way in which they form and evolve as millions of years pass. The supermassive galaxies found in their heart are also an object of interest since they can sport fascinating traits.
Previous research has suggested that the mass of the central region tends to be equal to that of the supermassive black hole, but more data is needed.