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No. 26: Mar-Apr 1983

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Gyroscopic Galaxies

The popular conception of a galaxy draws it in pancake shape, with a spiral structure consisting of many millions of stars. Oddities and deviants exist, but hardly anything as bizarre as a handful of recently discovered ringed spirals. Although the spiral sections of the ringed spirals seem normal enough, the rings are perpendicular to the plane of the spiral -- an inclination hardly countenanced by theories of galactic evolution. The ringed spirals look superficially like toy gyroscopes. One suggestion is that two galaxies collided at an angle, but there is no evidence of such a cataclysm. Ringed galaxies are eminently anomalous.

(Anonymous; "Ringed Galaxy Clue to Cosmic Riddle," Science Digest, 91:22, February 1983.)

Ringed sprial galaxy

From Science Frontiers #26, MAR-APR 1983. 1983-2000 William R. Corliss