NASA has shared a stunning image of the spiral galaxy NGC 4680 in all its glory. The image is said to have been taken by the Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3. The NGC 4680 galaxy had earlier made news in 1997, as it played host to a supernova explosion known as SN 1997bp according to NASA. The supernova had been identified by Australian amateur astronomer Robert Evans who is said to have identified 42 supernova explosions.
NASA states that the NGC 4680 is a tricky galaxy to classify. The space agency further states that this is because the galaxy is sometimes referred to as a spiral galaxy, but it is also sometimes classified as a lenticular galaxy.
Lenticular galaxies are said to fall somewhere in between spiral galaxies and elliptical galaxies. The NGC 4680 galaxy is said to have distinguishable spiral arms that are not clearly defined, and the tip of one arm appears very diffuse.
NASA says that Galaxies are not static, and their morphologies vary throughout their lifetimes. Over time, Spiral galaxies are believed to evolve into elliptical galaxies. NASA states that this is most likely due to the galaxies merging with one another, causing them to lose their distinctive spiral structures.
Source: Indian Express