— NASA (@NASA) December 24, 2014
One of NASA’s coolest toys, the Hubble Space Telescope, recently spotted a new galaxy that’s estimated to be over 60 million light years away from Earth.
Crowned IC335, the distant galaxy is located in the Fornax Galaxy Cluster, and is approximately 45,000 light years in length (which is about half of the length of our own Milky Way galaxy.)
While galaxies can fall into three categories of shapes: elliptical, spriral and irregular – our new friend here is special. Astronomers have classified the galaxy as an S0 type. S0 types are lenticular galaxies, which exist in an intermediate state between a true spiral and an elliptical galaxy. This also means that the galaxy is probably on the older side.
“It clearly isn’t an elliptical galaxy since it looks flat, but it doesn’t seem to have matter between the stars…so the scientists involved classify it as an intermediate type between spirals and ellipticals,” Dr. Jay M. Pasachoff, professor of astronomy at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, said to the The Huffington Post.
Check out this sideways glance at this newest galaxy! Find out what makes it unique…