Spectacular Image Captured by Hubble Shows a Strangely Contorted Spiral Galaxy

Hubble Captures NGC 2276

This spectacular image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the trailing arms of NGC 2276, a spiral galaxy 120 million light-years away in the constellation of Cepheus. At first glance, the delicate tracery of bright spiral arms and dark dust lanes resembles countless other spiral galaxies. A closer look reveals a strangely lopsided galaxy shaped by gravitational interaction and intense star formation. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, P. Sell, Acknowledgment: L. Shatz

This spectacular image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the trailing arms of NGC 2276, a spiral galaxy 120 million light-years away in the constellation of Cepheus. At first glance, the delicate tracery of bright spiral arms and dark dust lanes resembles countless other spiral galaxies. A closer look reveals a strangely lopsided galaxy shaped by gravitational interaction and intense star formation.

This striking image showcases the unusually contorted appearance of NGC 2276, an appearance caused by two different astrophysical interactions — one with the superheated gas pervading galaxy clusters, and one with a nearby galactic neighbor.

The interaction of NGC 2276 with the intracluster medium — the superheated gas lying between the galaxies in galaxy clusters — has ignited a burst of star formation along one edge of the galaxy. This wave of star formation is visible as the bright, blue-tinged glow of newly formed massive stars towards the left side of this image, and gives the galaxy a strangely lopsided appearance. NGC 2276’s recent burst of star formation is also related to the appearance of more exotic inhabitants — black holes and neutron stars in binary systems.

Wide-Field View of NGC 2276

This image shows a wide-field view of NGC 2276, a spiral galaxy 120 million light-years away in the constellation of Cepheus. At first glance, the delicate tracery of bright spiral arms and dark dust lanes resembles countless other spiral galaxies. A closer look reveals a strangely lopsided galaxy shaped by gravitational interaction and intense star formation. Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

On the other side of the galaxy from this burst of new stars, the gravitational attraction of a smaller companion is pulling the outer edges of NGC 2276 out of shape. This interaction with the small lens-shaped galaxy NGC 2300 has distorted the outermost spiral arms of NGC 2276, giving the false impression that the larger galaxy is orientated face-on to Earth.[1] NGC 2276 and its disruptive companion NGC 2300 can both be seen in the accompanying image, which shows a wider view of the interacting galaxies.

NGC 2276 is by no means the only galaxy with a strange appearance. The Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies — a catalog of unusual galaxies published in 1966 — contains a menagerie of weird and wonderful galaxies, including spectacular galaxy mergers, ring-shaped galaxies, and other galactic oddities. As befits an unusually contorted galaxy, NGC 2276 has the distinction of being listed in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies twice — once for its lopsided spiral arms and once for its interaction with its smaller neighbor NGC 2300.


  1. The actual alignment of NGC 2276 can be inferred from the position of its brightly glowing galactic core, which is offset from the distorted spiral arms.

15 Comments on "Spectacular Image Captured by Hubble Shows a Strangely Contorted Spiral Galaxy"

  1. Babu G. Ranganathan | May 30, 2021 at 9:14 am | Reply

    Babu G. Ranganathan*
    (B.A. Bible/Biology)

    JUST BECAUSE SCIENCE CAN EXPLAIN how an airplane works doesn’t mean that no one designed or made the airplane. And just because science can explain how life or the universe works doesn’t mean there was no Designer and Maker behind them.

    Natural laws may explain how the order in the universe works and operates, but mere undirected natural laws cannot explain the origin of that order. Once you have a complete and living cell then the genetic code and biological machinery exist to direct the formation of more cells from raw materials such as amino acids and other chemicals, but how could life or the cell have naturally originated when no directing code and mechanisms existed in nature? Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM.

    WHAT IS SCIENCE? Science simply is knowledge based on observation. No human observed the universe coming by chance or by design, by creation or by evolution. These are positions of faith. The issue is which faith the scientific evidence best supports.

    SCIENCE SHOWS THAT THE UNIVERSE CANNOT BE ETERNAL because it could not have sustained itself eternally due to the law of entropy (increasing and irreversible net energy decay, even in an open system). Even a hypothetical oscillating universe could not continue to oscillate eternally! Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity shows that space, matter, and time all are physical and all had a beginning. Space even produces particles because it’s actually something, not nothing. What about the Higgs boson (the so-called “God Particle”)? The Higgs boson, even if it existed, would not have created mass from nothing, but rather it would have converted energy into mass. Einstein showed that all matter is some form of energy. Even time had a beginning! Time is not eternal.

    The law of entropy doesn’t allow the universe to be eternal. If the universe were eternal, everything, including time (which modern science has shown is as physical as mass and space), would have become totally entropied by now and the entire universe would have ended in a uniform heat death a long, long time ago. The fact that this hasn’t happened already is powerful evidence for a beginning to the universe.

    Popular atheistic scientist Stephen Hawking admits that the universe had a beginning and came from nothing but he believes that nothing became something by a natural process yet to be discovered. That’s not rational thinking at all, and it also would be making the effect greater than its cause to say that nothing created something. The beginning had to be of supernatural origin because science teaches us from the First Law of Thermodynamics that natural laws and processes do not have the ability to bring something into existence from nothing.

    The supernatural origin of the universe cannot be proved by science but science points to a supernatural intelligence and power for the origin and order of the universe. Where did God come from? Obviously, unlike the universe, God’s nature doesn’t require a beginning.

    The disorder in the universe can be explained because of chance and random processes, but the order can be explained only because of intelligence and design.

    Gravity may explain how the order found in the precise and orderly courses of thousands of billions of stars is maintained, but gravity cannot explain the origin of that order.

    Some evolutionary astronomers believe that trillions of stars crashed into each other leaving surviving stars to find precise orderly orbits in space. Not only is this irrational, but if there was such a mass collision of stars then there would be a super mass residue of gas clouds in space to support this hypothesis. The present level of residue of gas clouds in space doesn’t support the magnitude of star deaths required for such a hypothesis. And, as already stated, the origin of stars cannot be explained by the Big Bang because of the reasons mentioned above. It’s one thing to say that stars may decay and die into random gas clouds, but it is totally different to say that gas clouds form into stars.

    Even the father of Chaos theory admitted that the “mechanisms” existing in the non-living world allow for only very rudimentary levels of order to arise spontaneously (by chance), but not the kind or level of order we find in the structures of DNA, RNA, and proteins. Yes, individual amino acids have been shown to come into existence by chance but not protein molecules which require that the various amino acids be in a precise sequence just like the letters found in a sentence.

    Some things don’t need experiment or scientific proof. In law there is a dictum called prima facie evidence. It means “evidence that speaks for itself.”

    An example of a true prima facie would be if you discovered an elaborate sand castle on the beach. You don’t have to experiment to know that it came by design and not by the chance forces of wind and water.

    If you discovered a romantic letter or message written in the sand, you don’t have to experiment to know that it was by design and not because a stick randomly carried by wind put it there. You naturally assume that an intelligent and rational being was responsible.

    It’s interesting that Carl Sagan would have acknowledged sequential radio signals in space as evidence of intelligent life sending them, but he wouldn’t acknowledge the sequential structure of molecules in DNA (the genetic code) as evidence of an intelligent Cause. Read my popular Internet article, HOW DID MY DNA MAKE ME.

    I encourage all to read my popular Internet articles:


    Visit my latest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION (This site answers many arguments, both old and new, that have been used by evolutionists to support their theory)


    *I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I’ve been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis “Who’s Who in The East” for my writings on religion and science.

    • More CGI for the dumbed down masses.
      Space and all that comes with it is literally the most impossible fantasy land thing imaginable… Everything is based off of assumptions, theories, non-provable, unobservable, made-up, and invisible mathemagical nonsense that exists only on paper and in the minds of liars… Space is Fake. Programmed monkeys

  2. Trakar Shaitanaku | May 30, 2021 at 9:28 am | Reply

    Can’t be too good of a religious belief system if you have to post to a science site to try and recruit followers. Perhaps you should rely upon faith rather than spreading your apostasy among those who don’t share your delusions.

  3. No, I did not finish the first post, the second sentence showed the delusional track followed by one who cannot fathom truth.
    Now to follow Thumper’s advice and not say anything more at all.

  4. Richard T.Longo | May 31, 2021 at 5:25 pm | Reply

    Spirals. Can’t live with them, cannot live with them.

  5. Ok. First I ask to be pardoned for my lack of scientific inclination. I don’t understand the standard model, the non standard model or the brain rupturing math associated. No need to batter me with insults or angry mobs chanting for my beheading. If scientists are able to describe the earth during a time of human inexistence, I’d like a simple explanation as to (a) How did the first human baby feed and care for itself until he/she was able to walk (b) how did he/she reproduce (c) why aren’t we observing those processes now

    • Zack the Physicist | June 2, 2021 at 12:11 pm | Reply

      Hi Terry,
      The genetic changes are initially small and gradual, so my answers:
      A) by his or her mother and father or however they were called
      B) reproduction like today but they did not have hospitals for delivery
      C) yes we can, estimated time for a major genetic change is 30000 to 100000 years

    • Zack the Physicist | June 2, 2021 at 8:44 pm | Reply

      To continue my answers a bit: humans and our forefathers have been social creatures, so highly likely they lived in groups. Naturally the reproduction did happen within the group, or with neighboring groups. Over time favorable genetic changes spread over the whole group or groups. It could had taken 100+ years. Still that is just a blinks of an eye in evolution time scale. So, your first human baby was not born in one divine instant, but over time as an outcome of a series of genetic changes. Archeologists have found human like beings (hominids) dating back as far as 3 million years. We cannot be absolutely sure of their child care habits back then when this so called first human baby was born. Presumable, at least his/her mother took care of her, and probably also the father. Equally well it could had been that all mothers took care of the young while males did the hunting. Small genetic changes happen all the time, and this we can notice. The question is just when the next generation will surface. It may tale really long before the reproduction is no longer possible between the old and new. For example lions and and tihers have been existing for millions of years and they can still produce babies, namely ligers, the largest cat in this era. Ligers are infertile and cannot reproduce their own offsprings. Hopefully, with these extra explanations, my answers were simple enough.
      P.s. Almost the same answer applies even if you ment homo sapiens as the first human, instead of the first human like being of the hominoids. Time scale is just then shorter, just 30000 to 45000 years ago.

  6. Our Creator is still creating!
    Amazingly beautiful stars, galaxies, and planets.
    How is this the wrong forum for religious beliefs? Maybe it is the wrong forum to express your godless atheism?
    My God lives! I know that. What explanation do you offer for this incredible beauty and complexity? Random collisions of gases? Where did the gases come from??

  7. The Oneness of The Creator

    Praise is due to Allah Whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate and the depths of understanding cannot reach; He, for whose description no limit has been laid down, no praise exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion and made firm the shaking earth with rocks.

    The foremost in religion is the acknowledgment of Him. The perfection of acknowledging Him is to testify Him. The perfection of testifying Him is to believe in His Oneness. The perfection of believing in His Oneness is to regard Him Pure. The perfection of His purity is to deny Him attributes because every attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is attributed and everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute.

    Thus, whoever attaches attributes to Allah recognizes His like. Who recognizes His like regards Him as two. Who regards Him as two recognizes parts for Him, and who recognizes parts for Him mistakes Him, and who mistakes Him points at Him, and who points at Him admits limitations for Him, and who admits limitations for Him numbers Him.

    Whoever said in what is He, held that He is contained, and whoever said on what is He held He is not on something else. He is a Being but not through phenomenon of coming into being. He Exists but not of non-Existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in his absence.

    The Creation of the Universe

    He initiated creation and commenced it originally, without undergoing reflection, without making use of any experiment, without innovating any movement and without experiencing any mental aspiration. He fixed the timings of everything. He established balance among their variations and harmonized them with each other. He gave everything its purpose, shape, properties and features. He knew them before creating them, having full control over their limits and confines. He knew their essence and components.

    The Almighty created the wide space and expanse of the universe. He flowed into it waters, whose waves were stormy and whose surges leapt one over the other. He loaded this water on dashing winds and breaking cyclones, ordered them to shed it back and forth, gave the wind control over it. The wind blew under it while water flooded furiously over it.

    Then, the Almighty created forth another type of wind and made it rotate around its own center, then increased its strength and intensified its motion and spread it far and wide. Then He ordered this wind to raise deep and dense waters to form wind waves. So, the wind churned the water like the churning of curd and pushed it fiercely into high ocean waves, moving still waters onto the flowing waters, churning it until it created layers full of foam.

    Then the Almighty raised the foam to the open and vast space and made therefrom the seven skies. He made the lower one as a steady wave and the upper one as protective ceiling and high edifice without any pole to support it and without joints to hold it together. Then, He decorated these skies with sparkling stars and glowing planets. He hung the shining sun and the bright moon within the revolving sky, moving roof and rotating galaxy.

    1400+ yrs ago by IMAM ALI The Son of Abi Talib

    The treasure of prophetic knowledge. The above is an excerpt from his first sermon in Nahjul-Balagha: aka The Peak of Eloquence

  8. There may have been some kind of god like creature that started this whole thing but im pretty sure he never had a son named Jesus

  9. Kennie J Young | May 27, 2023 at 4:51 am | Reply

    So who made God?

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