16:37 GMT +316 December 2019
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    The elegant simplicity of NGC 4111, seen here in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

    Astronomic Appetite: Hubble Telescope Spots Spectacular 'Cannibal Galaxy'

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    A breathtaking new picture of an unusual galaxy was made by the Hubble Space Telescope. The cannibal galaxy called NGC 4111 is located at a distance of 50 million light years away from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici.

    The galaxy belongs to a relatively rare type of "star megapolis", a so called lenticular galaxy which is a mixture of elliptical and spiral galaxies.

    At first glance, NGC 4111 looks like quite ordinary, but some of its features indicate that it is not as quiet as it seems.

    In the image, the galaxy is surrounded by a ring of dust and gas, which as astronomers assume, are left over from a smaller dwarf galaxy which NGC 4111 absorbed in the past.

    Researchers argue that the absorption process could take place as a result of the collision of galaxies, which is quite a common occurrence in space.

    Usually such collisions lead to a merger of the galaxies or the destruction of a smaller one. The phenomenon of large galaxies swallowing up smaller galaxies is often called galactic cannibalism.


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