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Galactic Cherry Blossom
NGC 1156, UGC 2455
Dwarf Irregular galaxy
RA 2h 59m 42.11s Dec 25° 14' 16.86"
25.4 million light-years
3.3 x 2.5 arcminutes
2.65 x 2.37 arcminutes
North is 90.0° right of vertical
ESA/Hubble, NASA, R. Jansen
July 8, 2019
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The galaxy NGC 1156 resembles a delicate cherry blossom tree flowering in springtime in this Hubble image. The many bright "blooms" within the galaxy are in fact stellar nurseries regions where new stars are springing to life. Energetic light emitted by newborn stars in these regions streams outwards and encounters nearby pockets of hydrogen gas, causing it to glow with a characteristic pink hue.
NGC 1156 is located in the constellation of Aries (The Ram). First discovered by William Herschel on November 13, 1786, it is classified as a dwarf irregular galaxy, meaning that it lacks a clear spiral or rounded shape, as other galaxies have, and is on the smaller side, albeit with a relatively large central region that is more densely packed with stars.
pockets of gas within NGC 1156 rotate in the opposite direction to the
rest of the galaxy, suggesting that there has been a close encounter with
another galaxy in NGC 1156's past. The gravity of this other galaxy
and the turbulent chaos of such an interaction could have scrambled
the likely more orderly rotation of material within NGC 1156, producing
the odd behavior we see today.