What you’re looking at is the Meathook Galaxy – and it’s easy to understand where it got that name from. But why is it shaped like this ?

Well, its dramatically warped profile signals widespead patches of gas, which means there is an active star formation activity there. The pinkish and reddish dots and lumps you see are glowing hydrogen, ionized by the powerful radiation of newborn stars nearby.

Located some 50 million light-years away in the constellation Volans (also known as the Flying Fish), it might also be a result of collision with another nearby galaxy, and the same forces which deformed the galaxy could be responsible for causing star birth, according to researchers.

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