UGC 5692 (Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA)

This is the dwarf irregular galaxy know as UGC 5692 or DDO 82, it is located about 13-million light-years from Earth and can be found in the constellation Ursa Major.

Whereas large majestic galaxies, containing hundreds of billions of stars, are an awesome thing to look at, in the grand scheme of things, most of the galaxies in the universe are dwarf galaxies, which in contrast, contain a few million to tens of millions of stars. DDO 82, in particular, is classified as a dwarf irregular galaxy because it doesn’t have the really clear, defined structure seen in galaxies like ours. Most of the time, gravitational interactions with other galaxies throughout the history of these dwarfs disturb the galaxy enough to give it the disordered appearance likened to vapor. Even then, there is order.

Again, in the case of DDO 82, astronomers say this galaxy has one spiral arm. In all honesty, I’ve been looking at this, and others, for the last half-hour and I don’t see it (I have several possible spiral arms, but that might just be my mind playing tricks on me). Take a close look at the picture and let me know if you see it. Either way, DDO 82 is also classified as an “Sm galaxy” or a Magellanic spiral galaxy – this galaxy class gets its name from the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the satellite galaxies of the Milky Way.

There are several of the Milky Way’s stars in the foreground of the image; these stars are easily visible because they are the large round shapes accompanied with a starring effect caused by Hubble. In addition, I count at least a hundred definable galaxies in the background that are much more distant than DDO 82.


Share This Article