Hubble captures the elegant simplicity of NGC 4111
The elegant simplicity of NGC 4111, seen here in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, hides a more violent history than you might think. NGC 4111 is a lenticular, or lens-shaped, galaxy about 50 million light-years from us in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs).
|NGC 4111 [Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt]|
At first sight, NGC 4111 looks like a fairly uneventful galaxy, but there are unusual features that suggest it is not such a peaceful place. Running through its center, at right angles to the thin disk, is a series of filaments, silhouetted against the bright core of the galaxy. These are made of dust, and astronomers think they are associated with a ring of material encircling the galaxy's core. Since it is not aligned with the galaxy's main disc, it is possible that this polar ring of gas and dust is actually the remains of a smaller galaxy that was swallowed up by NGC 4111 long ago.
Source: NASA [April 23, 2016]