Monday, May 2, 2022

Space Burger

The Burger Galaxy is spiral type (Image: Reproduction/Wilhelm Michael Kasakow, Olaf Guillaume)

Have you noticed that this galaxy seems to be divided in half by a "stuffing", like a sandwich? Yes, the dark dust lanes that cut through the galaxy NGC 3628 helped to inspire the nickname "Hamburger Galaxy". Located over 35 million light-years from us, towards the constellation Leo, the Hamburger Galaxy is spiral-like, and spans nearly 100,000 light-years.

An interesting feature of the galaxy is that its disk is twisted, accompanied by a long "tail" formed by gravity from tidal forces. NGC 3628 is accompanied by galaxies M65 and M66, also of the spiral type; together, they form the Trio de Leão. It is likely that gravitational interactions with these cosmic neighbors are largely responsible for the tail and twisting of the spiral disk of the Hamburger Galaxy.

NGC 3628 is considered a barless spiral galaxy, that is, it does not appear to have a central bar-shaped structure at its center, formed by stars. On the other hand, there are studies that describe a bulge in it visible at different wavelengths, suggesting the existence of the starry bar. 

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