Cultural Percussionist

The Cosmos with NGC 4710

NGC 4710 is an edge-on spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices. It’s prominent x-shaped structure reveals the existence of an underlying bar. 60 MLY away

Still an astrophysical mystery, the evolution of the bulges in spiral galaxies led astronomers to the edge-on galaxy NGC 4710. When staring directly at the centre of the galaxy, one can detect a faint, ethereal X-shaped structure. Such a feature, which astronomers call a boxy or peanut-shaped bulge, is due to the vertical motions of the stars in the galaxy’s bar and is only evident when the galaxy is seen edge-on. This curiously shaped puff is often observed in spiral galaxies with small bulges and open arms, but is less common in spirals with arms tightly wrapped around a more prominent bulge, such as NGC 4710.

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