• Galaxy NGC1316

Galaxy NGC1316

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Exposing Galactic Secrets of a Violent Past

Astronomers had to turn into super sleuths when trying to figure out the cause of incredible sights like NGC 1316. Their investigation indicates that NGC 1316 is an enormous elliptical galaxy that demonstrated all the characteristics of a serial killer.

About 100 million years ago, this galaxy begins to devour its neighbour; a smaller spiral galaxy, NGC 1317, hovering passively above it. However, this beast was not satisfied as it also engulfs several other galaxies demonstrating a violent temperament, and as it incurred its battle scars in its drive to consume, it has revealed some very interesting outcomes.

For instance, it has some unusual dust lanes embedded within a much larger envelope of stars, and a population of unusually small globular star clusters. These suggest that it also may have also cannibalised a dust-rich spiral galaxy, swallowing it whole about three billion years ago with scientists believing that this disruptive and aggressive behaviour has not satiated its appetite, but is actually continuing.

NGC 1316 is located about 60 million lightyears away from Earth in the southern constellation of Fornax (the Furnace), and is the brightest source of radio emissions in the constellation —the fourth brightest radio source in the entire sky, believed to be caused by the combined activity from the smaller galaxies that merged with NGC 1316. Think of it as the fitful screams of the trapped galaxies inside.

Swirling about like an angry ninja and eating whatever comes near its path, NGC 1316 has become a kind of monster. Luckily, it’s a huge distance away from us, so we don’t have to worry about slugging it out with this rampant bully anytime soon.

This stunning image reveals the dust lanes and star clusters that was taken by the VST (the largest telescope in the world designed to exclusively survey the sky in visible light) at ESO’s (European Organisation for Astronomical Research) Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. Revealed is a delicate structure of loops, arcs and rings that astronomers have now recorded in greater detail than ever before.

This astonishingly deep image also reveals a myriad of dim objects along with faint, but massive halos of light, which are now captured and available in incredible detail in our unique acrylic format – a real ‘statement piece’ to hang over the mantelpiece where the only limit to your very own portal to the stars will be your own imagination!

Pigment inks on 271gsm satin paper, professionally hand-bonded onto a 5mm cast acrylic panel. Currently available in five sizes:

  • 72″ (w) × 45.0″ (h)
  • 60″ (w) × 37.5″ (h)
  • 48″ (w) × 30.0″ (h)
  • 36″ (w) × 22.5″ (h)
  • 24″ (w) × 15.0″ (h)

Each acrylic print comes ready to hang.

FREE delivery.

Credit: ESO/A. Grado and L. Limatola