In a new image taken by Hubble’s Advanced Camera For Surveys, we come across a beautiful blue galaxy with a disjointed facade. Called ESO 162-17, it can be found approximately 40,000,000 light-years from Earth in the Carina constellation.
Ultimately, ESO 162-17—otherwise known as 2MASX J07155452-5720363 or LEDA 20531—is a peculiar galaxy by classification, something that happened over the course of billions of years, and numerous gravitational encounters those years brought. Whilst the encounters stripped the galaxy of its previous identity, they also left bits and pieces of themselves behind—like the remarkable amount of gas and dust it boasts.
Also pictured is a supernova first discovered in 2010, called SN 2010ae. Like the galaxy it resides in, it too is unusual in many ways. Found by Giuliano Pignata of the Universidad Andrés Bello, this supernova belongs to a subclass of type Ia supernovae known as type Iax.
Instead of coming to fruition after a massive star implodes, type Ia and Iax supernovae ignite as the result of accretion. That is, when two stars are locked in a tight orbit around each other—usually a white dwarf and a much larger companion star—the smaller of the two steals matter from the larger one. Eventually, matter accumulates fo the point that a thermonuclear explosion is triggered, culminating in a supernova (on a smaller scale). In the case of Iax, the progenitor star may remain intact, though they tend to be less luminous and more short-lived than their counterparts.