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Spotlight on IC 3583
IC 3583, Arp 76
RA 12h 36m 44.64s Dec 13° 15' 24.14"
30 million light years??
2.8 by 1.2 arcmin
3.32 x 3.28 arcminutes
North is 57.0° left of vertical
ESA/Hubble & NASA
November 28, 2016
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This delicate blue group of stars - actually an irregular galaxy named IC 3583 - sits some 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin).
It may seem to have no discernable structure, but IC 3583 has been found to have a bar of stars running through its center. These structures are common throughout the Universe, and are found within the majority of spiral, many irregular, and some lenticular galaxies. Two of our closest cosmic neighbors, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, are barred, indicating that they may have once been barred spiral galaxies that were disrupted or torn apart by the gravitational pull of the Milky Way.
similar might be happening with IC 3583. This small galaxy is thought
to be gravitationally interacting with one of its neighbors, the spiral
Messier 90. Together, the duo form a pairing known as Arp 76. It's still
unclear whether these flirtations are the cause of IC 3583's irregular
appearance - but whatever the cause, the galaxy makes for a strikingly
delicate sight in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, glimmering
in the blackness of space.