Hubble Spies NGC 4861: A Distant Wolf-Rayet Galaxy That Defies Classification

Nearly 30 million light-years from Earth, in the direction of the constellation Canes Venatici — Latin for “hunting dogs” — lies a galaxy that defies categorization. The mass, size and rotational velocity of NGC 4861 — as it's formally known — resemble those of a spiral galaxy, while its diffuse appearance makes it look like a dwarf irregular galaxy. On Friday, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) released an image of NGC 4861 captured using the Hubble Space Telescope. The...

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