NGC 1961

The giant, asymmetric spiral galaxy NGC 1961. This is one of the largest spiral galaxies known, and perhaps among the most peculiar in form. The pronounced asymmetry of the disk has been attributed at times to interaction with a surrounding cloud of intergalactic gas, which seemed for a time to be detected in X-rays (though recent work with ROSAT fails to show any such medium). An unusually high overall rate of star formation is suggested by strong radio-contintuum emission from the disk of this galaxy, along with several very bright discrete star-forming regions in the arms.

This color composite is from images taken in blue and near-infrared (BI) filters, using a CCD at the 1.1-meter Hall telescope of Lowell Observatory, by Bill Keel. It covers a region 3.9 arcminutes across.

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