A peculiar galaxy is a galaxy of unusual size, shape, or composition.Between five and ten percent of known galaxies are categorized as peculiar. Astronomers have identified two types of peculiar galaxies: interacting galaxies and active galactic nuclei (AGN).
When two galaxies come close to each other, their mutual gravitational forces can cause them to acquire highly irregular shapes.The terms 'peculiar galaxy' and 'interacting galaxy' have now become synonymous because the majority of peculiar galaxies attribute their forms to such gravitational forces.
Scientists hypothesize that many peculiar galaxies are formed by the collision of two or more galaxies.As such, peculiar galaxies tend to host more active galactic nuclei than normal galaxies, indicating that they contain supermassive black holes. Many peculiar galaxies experience starbursts, or episodes of rapid star formation, due to the galaxies merging. The periods of elevated star formation and the luminosity resulting from active galactic nuclei cause peculiar galaxies to be slightly bluer in color than other galaxies.
Studying peculiar galaxies can offer insights on other types of galaxies by providing useful information on galactic formation and evolution.Arp mapped peculiar galaxies in his 1966 Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. Arp states that "the peculiarities of the galaxies pictured in this Atlas represent perturbations, deformations, and interactions which should enable us to analyze the nature of the real galaxies which we observe and which are too remote to experiment on directly."
Peculiar galaxies are notated by an additional "p" or "pec" (depending on the exact convention) after the Hubble type of the galaxy.
A galaxy is a gravitationally bound system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, and dark matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias (γαλαξίας), literally "milky", a reference to the Milky Way. Galaxies range in size from dwarfs with just a few hundred million stars to giants with one hundred trillion stars, each orbiting its galaxy's center of mass.
NGC 6240, also known as the Starfish Galaxy, is a nearby ultraluminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) in the constellation Ophiuchus. The galaxy is the remnant of a merger between three smaller galaxies. The collision between the three progenitor galaxies has resulted in a single, larger galaxy with two distinct nuclei and a highly disturbed structure, including faint extensions and loops.
Spiral galaxies form a class of galaxy originally described by Edwin Hubble in his 1936 work The Realm of the Nebulae and, as such, form part of the Hubble sequence. Most spiral galaxies consist of a flat, rotating disk containing stars, gas and dust, and a central concentration of stars known as the bulge. These are often surrounded by a much fainter halo of stars, many of which reside in globular clusters.
A starburst galaxy is a galaxy undergoing an exceptionally high rate of star formation, as compared to the long-term average rate of star formation in the galaxy or the star formation rate observed in most other galaxies. For example, the star formation rate of the Milky Way galaxy is approximately 3 M☉/yr; however, starburst galaxies can experience star formation rates that are more than a factor of 33 times greater. In a starburst galaxy, the rate of star formation is so large that the galaxy will consume all of its gas reservoir, from which the stars are forming, on a timescale much shorter than the age of the galaxy. As such, the starburst nature of a galaxy is a phase, and one that typically occupies a brief period of a galaxy's evolution. The majority of starburst galaxies are in the midst of a merger or close encounter with another galaxy. Starburst galaxies include M82, NGC 4038/NGC 4039, and IC 10.
Halton Christian "Chip" Arp was an American astronomer. He was known for his 1966 Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, which catalogues many examples of interacting and merging galaxies, though Arp disputed the idea, claiming apparent associations were prime examples of ejections. Arp was also known as a critic of the Big Bang theory and for advocating a non-standard cosmology incorporating intrinsic redshift.
A ring galaxy is a galaxy with a circle-like appearance. Hoag's Object, discovered by Art Hoag in 1950, is an example of a ring galaxy. The ring contains many massive, relatively young blue stars, which are extremely bright. The central region contains relatively little luminous matter. Some astronomers believe that ring galaxies are formed when a smaller galaxy passes through the center of a larger galaxy. Because most of a galaxy consists of empty space, this "collision" rarely results in any actual collisions between stars. However, the gravitational disruptions caused by such an event could cause a wave of star formation to move through the larger galaxy. Other astronomers think that rings are formed around some galaxies when external accretion takes place. Star formation would then take place in the accreted material because of the shocks and compressions of the accreted material.
Interacting galaxies are galaxies whose gravitational fields result in a disturbance of one another. An example of a minor interaction is a satellite galaxy disturbing the primary galaxy's spiral arms. An example of a major interaction is a galactic collision, which may lead to a galaxy merger.
NGC 3226 is a dwarf elliptical galaxy that is interacting with the spiral galaxy NGC 3227. The two galaxies are one of several examples of a spiral with a dwarf elliptical companion that are listed in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. Both galaxies may be found in the constellation Leo.
NGC 520 is a pair of colliding spiral galaxies about 105 million light-years away in the constellation Pisces. They were discovered by astronomer William Herschel on 13 December 1784.
The Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies is a catalog of peculiar galaxies produced by Halton Arp in 1966. A total of 338 galaxies are presented in the atlas, which was originally published in 1966 by the California Institute of Technology. The primary goal of the catalog was to present photographs of examples of the different kinds of peculiar structures found among galaxies.
Arp 220 is the result of a collision between two galaxies which are now in the process of merging. It is the 220th object in Halton Arp's Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies.
A low-ionization nuclear emission-line region (LINER) is a type of galactic nucleus that is defined by its spectral line emission. The spectra typically include line emission from weakly ionized or neutral atoms, such as O, O+, N+, and S+. Conversely, the spectral line emission from strongly ionized atoms, such as O++, Ne++, and He+, is relatively weak. The class of galactic nuclei was first identified by Timothy Heckman in the third of a series of papers on the spectra of galactic nuclei that were published in 1980.
The NGC 5679 group, also known as Arp 274, is a triplet of galaxies, MCG+1-37-36, MCG+1-37-35 and MCG+1-37-34, spanning about 200000 light-years and at some 400 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo. Arp 247 refers to the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, compiled by Halton Arp in 1966. Galaxies 269 through 274 in his catalogue are galaxies that appear to have connected arms.
Arp 273 is a pair of interacting galaxies, 300 million light years away in the constellation Andromeda. It was first described in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, compiled by Halton Arp in 1966. The larger of the spiral galaxies, known as UGC 1810, is about five times more massive than the smaller galaxy. It has a disc that is tidally distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. The smaller galaxy shows distinct signs of active star formation at its nucleus, and "it is thought that the smaller galaxy has actually passed through the larger one."
The Multiwavelength Atlas of Galaxies is a textbook and atlas of 35 well studied galaxies authored by Glen Mackie of the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology. It was originally published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press.
NGC 2276 is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Cepheus. The galaxy lies 120 million light-years away from Earth. NGC 2276 has an asymmetrical appearance, most likely caused by gravitational interactions with its neighbor, elliptical galaxy NGC 2300. One of the many starburst spiral arms contains an intermediate mass black hole with 50,000 times the mass of the Sun, named NGC 2276-3c. NGC 2276-3c has produced two jets: a large-scale radio jet, approximately 2,000 light years long, and an "inner jet" about 6 light years long. The galaxy shows an enhanced rate of star formation that may have been triggered by a collision with a dwarf galaxy, or by the gravitational interaction with its neighbor compressing gas and dust.
NGC 1614 is the New General Catalogue identifier for a spiral galaxy in the equatorial constellation of Eridanus. It was discovered on December 29, 1885 by American astronomer Lewis Swift, who described it in a shorthand notation as: pretty faint, small, round, a little brighter middle. The nebula was then catalogued by Danish-Irish astronomer J. L. E. Drayer in 1888. When direct photography became available, it was noted that this galaxy displayed some conspicuous peculiarities. American astronomer Halton Arp included it in his 1966 Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. In 1971, Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky described it as a "blue post-eruptive galaxy, compact patchy core, spiral plumes, long blue jet SSW".
NGC 4861, also known as Arp 266, is a galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. It was discovered by William Herschel on May 1, 1785.
NGC 7469 is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation of Pegasus. NGC 7469 is located about 200 million light years away from Earth, which means, given its apparent dimensions, that NGC 7469 is approximately 90,000 light years across. It was discovered by William Herschel on November 12, 1784.
NGC 1142 is a distorted spiral galaxy in the constellation of Cetus. It is located about 370 million light years away from Earth, which means, given its apparent dimensions, that NGC 1142 is approximately 170,000 light years across. It is a type 2 Seyfert galaxy. It interacts with the elliptical galaxy NGC 1141.