Rare 'Rectangular' Galaxy Spotted
'Emerald cut' shape probably the result of two galaxies colliding
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2012 12:41 AM CDT
LEDA 074886 lies in a cluster of 250 galaxies 70 million light years away.   (Alister Graham)

(Newser) – The vast majority of galaxies fall into one of three categories—football-shaped, irregular, or a disc with spiral arms. But LEDA 074886 is a strange one. When viewed from our planet, the dwarf galaxy has a strange, rectangular, "emerald cut" shape. Its discoverers believe the galaxy is shaped like a cylinder, and we are seeing it from the side, National Geographic reports. "The alternative shape, a cube, seems too bizarre to contemplate," says the leader of the team that spotted the boxy galaxy.

"It’s one of those things that just makes you smile because it shouldn’t exist, or rather, you don’t expect it to exist," he says. The astronomers believe its shape may be the result of a long-ago collision between two spiral galaxies. They note that if the orientation is right, our own galaxy will end up as part of an "emerald cut" galaxy when it collides with Andromeda some 3 billion years from now.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Rare 'Rectangular' Galaxy Spotted is...
2%
3%
83%
1%
9%
2%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 6 comments
Fromoutsidelookingin
Mar 22, 2012 9:57 AM CDT
I'm vaguely curious as to who found this news annoying, considerably more so as to who found this news scary.
ExceleRater
Mar 22, 2012 8:35 AM CDT
"emerald cut" shape." Maybe it's God's diamond for his girlfriend.
Rob
Mar 22, 2012 8:23 AM CDT
The most parsimonious explanation is that we are viewing a Kardashev scale type III civilization.