The Milky Way is our home galaxy, but according to astronomers, it is an average one, as it lacks any traits that would make it unusual. Its arms are long and Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole located in its center, is quite active.
According to a team of astronomers, NGC 2442 is an unusual galaxy, and its traits have sparked the interest of the astronomy community. The team managed to capture an image of the galaxy with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the vista is quite impressive.
One of the most interesting details is represented by the unusual form of the galaxy, which is very asymmetrical, as it appears to follow the shape of a massive hook. The unusual shape inspired the researchers to give the nickname of Meathook Galaxy. A supernova explosion took place recently inside it, offering even more interesting details.
It is thought that the supernova explosion ca be tied to a pair of binary stars. In this case, one of the stars will absorb material from the other until a critical point is reached, and the supernova event is triggered.
Data collected in 2015, when the supernova was observed, infers that it was caused by a white dwarf which consumed too much material from the other star. The additional material compromised the stability of the white dwarf and led to nuclear fusion, which culminated in the massive supernova explosion.
Hubble has taken a picture that surprised most of the galaxy and the light, which was released by the supernova. The picture also contains several key regions of the galaxy, including the center and the regions were stars form, as well as darker materials which tend to agglomerate near the edges.
More research will take place as astronomers want to learn more about the galaxy, and the reason behind its unusual shape.