80%crop

80%crop

NGC 2146

A barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis.  The most distinctive feature is the dusty spiral arm that has looped in front of the galaxy's core as seen from our perspective. The forces required to pull this structure out of its natural shape and twist it up to 45 degrees are colossal. The most likely explanation is that a neighboring galaxy is gravitationally distorting the orbits of many of NGC 2146's stars. It is probable that we are currently witnessing the end stages of a process that has been occurring for tens of millions of years.  

NCG 2146 is undergoing intense bouts of star formation, to such an extent that it is referred to as a starburst galaxy. This is a common state for barred spirals, but the extra gravitational disruption that NGC 2146 is enduring no doubt exacerbates the situation, compressing hydrogen-rich nebulas and triggering stellar birth.

24” Planewave

LRGB, 840,165,165,165 min each filter.