NGC 7049: What Kind of Galaxy Is This?

there is a strange situation; NGC 7049 is not a spiral galaxy but a typical elliptical / spherical galaxy of cold and old stars.

It is not known exactly how the spiral gas and dust ring that surrounds the nucleus exists in such an old galaxy in the middle of this galaxy, which has a diameter of about 150 thousand light years and many more stars than our galaxy Milky Way.
However, astronomers think that NGC 7049 recently collided with a medium-sized galaxy containing a lot of dust and gas and incorporated it into its structure. The neat dust ring you see is the booty captured from the other galaxy that has been swallowed.

Galaxy fusion is a "natural phenomenon" that is frequently observed in the universe. Thus, such elliptical giant galaxies are thought to have been formed by the combination of many Milky Way-like spiral structures. Since most of the gases in the galaxies united after the collisions are consumed with very fast and intense new star formations caused by gravitational effects, elliptical galaxies are turning into quiet, no longer productive galaxies in a few billion years.

However, as we have seen in NGC 7049, elliptical galaxies, which have been able to acquire new gas stocks from the outside, can return to their old shining days. In the next millions of years, new nebulae will form in the dust ring you have seen and young stars will be born in these nebulae.

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