Astronomers have managed to obtain an image of the rarest space object – a giant ancient ring galaxy with the age of 11 billion years. The results were published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
Astrophysicists from Australia, the USA, Canada, Belgium and Denmark used spectroscopic data collected by the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Hubble Space Telescope to obtain an image of an unusual space structure. It is a galaxy with a mass of the Milky Way and a very large hole in the middle resembling a bagel.
It’s noted that this unusual cosmic structure is called R5519. The galaxy is 11 billion light years from Earth. The diameter of the hole in the center is 2 billion times the distance between the Earth and the Sun and 3 million times the supermassive black hole in the center of the M 87 galaxy.
“This is a very curious object. The R5519 galaxy produces stars 50 times faster than the Milky Way! Most of this activity happens in its ring. So this is really a ring of fire,” says Tiantian Yuan, lead author of the study from ASTRO 3D Australia.
According to the astronomers, such objects are formed as a result of the collision of two large galaxies, during which one of them crashes into the other and “punches” a hole. As a result of such a collision, galaxies become similar to so-called “fire” rings.
Let us recall that by the end of May residents of Russia and neighboring countries will be able to observe the International Space Station (ISS), which will appear in the form of a bright star.