NGC 1132 is one smooth galaxy -- but how did it form?
, NGC 1132 has little dust and gas, and few stars have formed in it recently. Although many elliptical galaxies are in clusters of galaxies, NGC 1132
appears as a large, isolated galaxy toward the constellation of the River (Eridanus).
To probe the history of this intriguing trillion-star ball, astronomers imaged NGC 1132
in both visible light with the
Hubble Space Telescope
and X-ray light
with the Chandra X-ray Observatory
In this composite false-color image, visible light is white,
while the X-ray light is blue and indicates the unusual
presence of very hot gas. The X-ray light also likely traces out the location of dark
. One progenitor hypothesis is that NGC 1132 is the result of a series of galaxy mergers
in what once was a small group of galaxies
NGC 1132 is over 300 million light years away, so the light we see from it today left before
roamed the Earth.
Many fascinating background galaxies
can be seen far in the distance.