Recently, the Hubble Space Telescope sent a detailed photo of the galaxy NGC 3718, which is famous for its unusual shape. NGC 3718 (Arp 214) is a perturbed spiral galaxy of an unusual curved shape, which slightly resembles a convex Latin letter S, through which a thin thread of dark dust curls. Captured by Hubble, the image shows in detail a twisting band of dust that passes by the galactic core and bends into the surrounding gas, creating a unique configuration together.
NGC 3718 is located about 52 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. Its core is extremely difficult to detect in both visible and ultraviolet light, because the visible dust band blocks most of these wavelengths. But it can be seen in infrared light that passes through dusty areas.
It is believed that NGC 3718 acquired its curved S-shape due to gravitational interaction with the neighboring spiral galaxy NGC 3729 – another spiral galaxy located about 150 thousand light-years from us.
The galaxy was discovered on April 12, 1789 by Wilhelm Herschel, a British astronomer of German origin. It is also known by the names Arp 214, LEDA 35616 and UGC 6524, and has a diameter of about 110 thousand light-years.
The study of this galaxy was supposed to help astronomers clarify the relationship between the mass of supermassive black holes and the properties of galactic bulges. Hubble also sought to investigate star formation on a galactic scale, from the region around the nucleus to the disk of the galaxy.
Recall that thanks to the data of the Gaia telescope, astronomers have created 3D maps of nebulae.
According to NASA
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