The Eyes Galaxies NGC 4435-NGC 4438 A Tribute to Interstellar (2024)

DATA: Misti Mountain Observatory

In the 2014 filmInterstellar, "NGC 4438" along with specific observation data can be seen in Murphy Cooper (Jessica Chastain)'s notepad during the film's climactic sequence. As the presence of a supermassive black hole in the AGC of NGC 4438 is one of two leading theories, the galaxy is potentially that accessed by the wormhole in the film.

A monstrousblack hole's rude table manners include blowing huge bubbles of hot gas into space. At least, that's the gustatory practice followed by the supermassive black hole residing in the hub of the nearby galaxy NGC 4438. Known as a peculiar galaxy because of its unusual shape, NGC 4438 is in the Virgo Cluster, 50 million light-years from Earth.

TheEyes Galaxies(NGC 4435-NGC 4438, also known asArp 120) are a pair of galaxies about52 millionlight-yearsaway in theconstellationVirgo. The pair are members of the string of galaxies known asMarkarian's Chain.

NGC 4435 is abarredlenticular galaxycurrently interacting with NGC 4438. Studies of the galaxy by theSpitzer Space Telescoperevealed a relatively young (190 million years) stellar population within the galaxy's nucleus, which may have originated through the interaction with NGC 4438 compressing gas and dust in that region, triggering a starburst.=10.5px It also appears to have a long tidal tail possibly caused by the interaction;=10.5px however, other studies suggest the apparent tail is actually foregroundgalactic cirruswithin theMilky Wayunrelated to NGC 4435.NGC 4438 is the most curious interacting galaxy in the Virgo Cluster, due to the uncertainty surrounding the energy mechanism that heats the nuclear source; this energy mechanism may be astarburstregion, or a black hole-poweredactive galactic nucleus(AGN). Both hypotheses are currently under investigation by astronomers. This galaxy shows a highly distorteddisk, including longtidal tailsdue to the gravitationalinteractions with other galaxies in the cluster and its companion. The aforementioned features explain why sources differ as to its classification, defining it either as a lenticular or spiral galaxy. NGC 4438 also shows signs of a past, extended - but modest - starburst,=10.5px a considerable deficiency ofneutral hydrogen, as well as a displacement of the components of itsinterstellar medium- atomic hydrogen,molecular hydrogen,interstellar dust, and hot gas - in the direction of NGC 4435. This observation suggests both a tidal interaction with NGC 4435 and the effects ofram-pressure stripping=10.5pxas NGC 4438 moves at high speed through Virgo'sintracluster medium, increased by the encounter between both galaxies.

While there is evidence to suggest that the environmental damage to the interstellar medium of NGC 4438 may have been caused by an off-center collision with NGC 4435 millions of years ago, a recent discovery of several filaments ofionized gaslinks NGC 4438 with the large neighboring elliptical galaxyMessier 86in addition to a discovery of gas and dust within M86 that may have been stripped from NGC 4438 during a past encounter between the two.=10.5pxGiven the high density of galaxies in the center of the Virgo galaxy cluster, it is possible that the three galaxies, NGC 4435, NGC 4438, and M86, have had past interactions.NGC 4435 is a compact barred lenticular galaxy that appears to be almost devoid of dust and gas. The galaxy contains a young population of stars on its central regions. Discovered by the Spitzer Space Telescope, the stars have an estimated age of 190 million years and may have formed as a result of the galaxy’s interaction with the neighbouring NGC 4438. NGC 4435 features a long tidal tail that may also have been caused by the collision, but some studies suggest that the tail is in fact a cirrus in the Milky Way, completely unrelated to NGC 4435. The galaxy’s bright core covers more than 50% of its diameter.NGC 4438 has long tidal tails and a very distorted disk, which has led to scientists classifying it either as a spiral or lenticular galaxy. The galaxy was likely once a spiral galaxy, but encounters with its neighbours over the last few hundred million years have left it damaged and badly deformed. NGC 4438 has an obscuring lane of dust just below its nucleus and young stars can be seen to the left of its center.NGC 4435 and NGC 4438 are about 100,000 light years apart. They are believed to have come within about 16,000 light years of each other some 100 million years ago, which resulted in gravitational tides from the encounter ripping away material – stars, gas and dust – from NGC 4438 and removing most of the dust and gas from NGC 4435 and reducing its mass in the process. The bigger NGC 4438 was able to hold on to a good portion of the material torn out in the encounter, while much of the material from NGC 4435 was lost.19th century observer L. S. Copeland named the pair the Eyes Galaxies. In medium-sized telescopes, the galaxies’ bright oval cores look like a pair of eyes glowing in the dark.

Sometimes also known as Markarian’s Eyes, the interacting galaxies are part ofMarkarian’s Chain, a string of galaxies that lie along a curved line in the centre of the Virgo Cluster. Markarian galaxies also includeMessier 84,Messier 86, NGC 4477, NGC 4437, NGC 4461, and NGC 4458.

The Eyes Galaxies  NGC 4435-NGC 4438 A Tribute to Interstellar (2024)


What type of galaxy is NGC 4435? ›

NGC 4435 is a barred lenticular galaxy currently interacting with NGC 4438.

What type of galaxy is NGC 4438? ›

The galaxy's bright core covers more than 50% of its diameter. NGC 4438 has long tidal tails and a very distorted disk, which has led to scientists classifying it either as a spiral or lenticular galaxy.

What is a galaxy eye human? ›

An eye with asteroid hyalosis. ( Koushik Tripathy) A relatively common condition can turn someone's gaze into a galaxy, making the eye appear to contain a starry night sky. People who experience the benign change don't actually have celestial bodies swimming in their vision.

What is the rarest type of galaxy? ›

Almost every galaxy can be classified as a spiral, elliptical, or irregular galaxy. Only 1-in-10,000 galaxies fall into the rarest category of all: ring galaxies.

What type of galaxy is NGC? ›

Bold and beautiful, NGC 1300 is a marvelous example of a barred spiral galaxy. Unlike in other spiral galaxies where the starry arms curl outward from the center of the galaxy, NGC 1300's arms twist away from the ends of a straight bar of stars that stretches across the galaxy's core.

What kind of galaxy is NGC 4535? ›

Barred spiral galaxy

What type of galaxy is the fireworks galaxy? ›

The Fireworks Galaxy is further classified as an intermediate spiral galaxy and as a starburst galaxy. The former means the structure of NGC 6946 sits between a full spiral and a barred spiral galaxy, with only a slight bar in its center, and the latter means it has an exceptionally high rate of star formation.

What type of galaxy is the mice galaxy? ›

NGC 4676, or the Mice Galaxies, are two spiral galaxies in the constellation Coma Berenices. About 290 million light-years distant, they have begun the process of colliding and merging.

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