Pic of the Day: A Crystal-Clear Image of a Strange, Distant Galaxy


The image above looks something like a ribbon of blood slashed into the very fabric of the universe. It isn’t, but the violent-looking shape may have resulted from a collision of some sort. What you’re seeing is a photo of the Meathook Galaxy, named for the unique shape its two spiral arms suggest. “The galaxy’s lopsided appearance is thought to be due to gravitational interactions with another galaxy at some point in its history — though astronomers have not so far been able to positively identify the culprit,” the European Southern Observatory’s website explains. The picture was taken using a mammoth, highly specialized camera called the Wide Field Imager, mounted on a telescope in Chile. [via io9]