NGC 2685 (also known as the Helix Galaxy or Arp 336) is a polar ring galaxy of about 50,000 light-years across, located some 42 million light-years away from Earth in the northern constellation of Ursa Major (the Great Bear). It is receding from us at approximately 883 kilometers per second.
The name “Arp 336” derives from being included in Arp’s Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, a catalog of 338 peculiar galaxies, drawn up by Halton Arp in the years from 1962 through 1967 and published by the California Institute of Technology.
A polar-ring galaxy is a rare type of galaxy in which an outer ring of gas, stars and dust orbits in a plane almost perpendicular to the normal flat plane of the galaxy. These polar rings are thought to form when two galaxies gravitationally interact with each other. One possibility is that material is tidally stripped from a passing galaxy, with the captured debris strung out in a rotating ring. The other possibility is that a smaller galaxy collides perpendicular with the plane of rotation of the larger galaxy, with the smaller galaxy effectively forming the polar ring.
In the case of NGC 2685, several thin filamentary strands, consisting of knots of luminous star-forming regions and hydrogen gas form a helical band perpendicular to the main disk and centered on the galactic nucleus. These structures suggest that NGC 2685 once had a much smaller companion that was captured into a polar orbit and had its stars eventually merged with those of the larger system, leaving behind the companion’s interstellar medium. New generations of stars formed from this material to produce the luminous ring seen today.
The rotating ring of NGC 2685 is found to be remarkably old and stable. It is possible that if the Magellanic Clouds had been closer to the Milky Way, they too would have created a polar ring around our galaxy.
In this image, the strange, perpendicular rings are easy to trace as they pass in front of the galactic disk, along with other disturbed outer structures. NGC 2685 is seen amidst lots of foreground stars and background galaxies.
Upchurch started his career working with the Kool Gents, the Dells, and the Spaniels before going on to work with Curtis Mayfield, Otis Rush, and Jimmy Reed. (His association with Kool Gents member Dee Clark would continue, including playing guitar on Clark’s 1961 solo hit “Raindrops“.) He then returned to Chicago to play and record with Woody Herman, Stan Getz, Groove Holmes, B.B. King, and Dizzy Gillespie.
William C. “Buster“ Bailey (July 19, 1902 – April 12, 1967) was a jazz clarinetist.
Buster Bailey was a master of the clarinet and was educated on the instrument by classical teacher Franz Schoepp, the man who taught Benny Goodman. Bailey got his start with W.C. Handy’s Orchestra in 1917 when he was just fifteen years old. After two years of touring with Handy, Bailey quit the orchestra while the band was in Chicago. In 1919, Bailey joined Erskine Tate’s Vendome Orchestra and remained with Tate until 1923 when he joined up with Joe “King” Oliver. As a member of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, Bailey met and became friends with Louis Armstrong, who was also a member of the band at that time. In 1924, Armstrong left King Oliver’s Jazz Band to join Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra in New York. Within a month Armstrong extended an invitation for Buster Bailey to join him as a member of Henderson’s band. Bailey accepted and moved to New York City.
a band formed by South American expats from Argentina and Colombia living in Spain. Che Sudaka is known for its lively shows and party-like atmosphere, where the band mixes accordion-fueled Colombian cumbia, ska, pop, rock, Andean folk music, Brazilian beats and other musical forms.
Jalacy “Screamin’ Jay” Hawkins (July 18, 1929 – February 12, 2000) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Famed chiefly for his powerful, operatic vocal delivery and wildly theatrical performances of songs such as “I Put a Spell on You“, he sometimes used macabre props onstage, making him an early pioneer of shock rock.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Hawkins studied classical piano as a child and learned guitar in his twenties. His initial goal was to become an opera singer (Hawkins cited Paul Robeson as his musical idol in interviews), but when his initial ambitions failed he began his career as a conventional blues singer and pianist.
Tata Güines (June 30, 1930 – February 4, 2008), born Federico Arístides Soto Alejo, was a Cuban percussionist on the tumbadora, or conga drum, as well as a composer. He was important in the first generation of Afro-Cuban jazz.
Güines was born in Güines, a poor town east of La Habana in the province of Havana in Cuba. He made his first drums out of milk cartons and sausages. By the 1950s he was working with such top Cuban musicians as Arsenio Rodríguez, Luciano “Chano” Pozo, Bebo Valdés and Israel “Cachao” López. In the late 1950s he formed a band with the pianist Frank Emilio Flynn, forming a new band, Quinteto Instrumental de Música Moderna, later known as Los Amigos.
Güines moved to New York City in 1957, playing there with great jazz players such as Dizzy Gillespie, Maynard Ferguson, and Miles Davis at Birdland. As a percussionist, he performed with Josephine Baker and Frank Sinatra. He returned to Cuba in 1959 after Fidel Castro came to power in the Cuban Revolution which he helped fund by contributions from his earnings as a musician.