Hubble Sees NGC 3447: 2 Galaxies in a Cosmic Dance Defy Conventions



Washington, DC, United States

Two galaxies in a cosmic dance defy conventions.

60 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo, the more diffuse and patchy blue glow covering the right side of the frame is known as NGC 3447B, while the smaller clump to the upper left is NGC 3447A.

Known together as NGC 3447, we’re unsure what each looked like before they began to tear one another apart. So close that they are strongly influenced and distorted by the gravitational forces between them, the galaxies to twist themselves into the unusual and unique shapes seen here. NGC 3447A appears to display the remnants of a central bar structure and some disrupted spiral arms, both properties characteristic of certain spiral galaxies. Some identify NGC 3447B as a former spiral galaxy, while others categorize it as being an irregular galaxy.

Credit: NASA/Hubble

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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.


  • Title: Hubble Sees NGC 3447: 2 Galaxies in a Cosmic Dance Defy Conventions
  • Date Created: 2017-12-08
  • Location: Greenbelt, MD
  • Rights: GSFC
  • Album: ayoung

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