Contrary To Earlier Belief, A Galaxy Near Us Is Not Exactly X Shaped

Astronomers had predicted wrong about a galaxy which is not too distant from Earth. They, through the radio telescopes had considered the galaxy to be X shaped, but it’s not. After a better quality image was received from new prominent radio telescope, it was known that the galaxy is quite like an elongated blob. The better image was released in the journal of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society on July 11, 2019. It has completed altered the pre-conceived notions regarding the galaxy NGC 326. Besides, it has also shattered theories of collision between huge black holes. It has been only through the help of Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) which is potent radio telescope from Netherlands.

Those authoring the paper on July 11 claimed that initially NGC 326 did look exactly like an X shape. Every time researchers analyzed the radio signatures of the galaxy, the structure gave specific patterns of radio waves which looked similar to the four separate lobes of the legs of an X. This was one of the major evidence which they considered to be due to collisions of the past between two huge black holes. However, the latest image has shown even more complexity. In fact, it cannot be solved just with the black-hole collision theory.

The reasons why the X shape had been crucial for scientists are many. But after various studies and closer inspection into the shape, it was noticed that the new picture of NGC-326 is not X shaped. In fact, the gaps between legs of the X have glowing elements which has made the shape more like an elongated blob rather than an alphabet. The black holes might have combined in this particular galaxy. However, even from the clear picture the traces of merging are not clear. Besides, even if the merger did take place, it is quite difficult for scientists to figure out its current shape.

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