NGC 5033 Image Credit: R. Jay GaBany (Cosmotography)

This Seyfert galaxy, known as NGC 5033, is located approximately 43 million light-years from Earth toward the Canes Venatici constellation. An unbarred spiral galaxy by nature, it spans around 100,000 light-years across (making it around the same size as the Milky Way), and has many noteworthy features.. Beginning with its bright central core, and the pronounced spiral arms, which seem to stretch all the way around the entire galaxy, only visibly thinning out thousands of light-years beyond the main rim.

Within these arms, fervent star-formation is taking place, evident in the bright blue patches—where hot, blue-white stars are taking shape—and the pink-tinged patches alike, which signify the presence of ionized gas (otherwise known as H II regions).

These regions—paired with NGC 5033's unusual arms, and warped disk—indicate that the galaxy underwent a gravitational perturbation long ago, when another galaxy ventured too close and either ran away, or was absorbed.

This encounter not only warped the galaxy's disk and arms, but it kick started star-formation activity, which continues to this very day (at least, it was still happening 43 million years ago, when the light first left and traveled all the way to our corner of the universe). Additionally, many of the stars born after the event have died out—leaving many supernova remnants behind.


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