The Speculist: Strange Galaxy


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Strange Galaxy

Now this is just peculiar:

Galaxy's spiral arms point in opposite directions

Astronomers are puzzling over a spiral galaxy whose spiral arms are wrapped in opposing directions. The unusual structure may be a lingering scar from a tussle with a smaller galaxy that was ultimately swallowed.

Before astronomers had studied this unusual spiral galaxy, called NGC 4622, they thought the spiral arms of galaxies were always oriented the same way relative to the galaxy's direction of rotation. Specifically, spiral arms were always thought to follow, or trail, the direction of rotation – the same way that a swirl of milk in a stirred cup of coffee naturally orients itself.

But in 2002, astronomers led by Ron Buta of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, US, announced that NGC 4622, which lies 200 million light years away, was rotating the wrong way – its prominent outer arms were leading instead of trailing. And one inner arm even appeared to be wound in the opposite direction from the outer arms.


What could cause such a thing to occur? The prevailing theory is a galactic cataclysm:

Scientists still do not understand how the galaxy got its oppositely oriented arms. One possibility is that the inner arms are the result of a struggle with a smaller galaxy that veered perilously close to NGC 4622 and was swallowed.

Before being ripped to shreds, the smaller galaxy could have stirred up matter in NGC 4622's inner regions, leading it to settle in a spiral pattern opposite to that in the outer regions.

That seems likely. But how about an alternative explanation? What we are seeing is a galaxy that has been re-engineered. The highly advanced inhabitants are using these opposing forces of spin to generate energy or to perform some other task.



That is just too cool.
Not only are there apparently oppositely oriented arms- at least one set of arms are leading- not trailing- ie, pointing in the direction of rotation- not trailing away from rotation. could,, I mean what?

First Space is polarized by Two Turns: a Turn toward the Closed System (finite) and the Turn toward the Open System (infinite).

NGC 4622 is only "an inconvenient Galaxy" to a Closed System of Analysis (i.e., using a finite number of dimensions and variables).

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