Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday Galaxy - 1 - NGC 524

I've decided to institute a new tradition of posting images of a favourite galaxy on a friday. For the first example I have decided to choose NGC 524, this galaxy is an S0 galaxy that I am working on at the moment.

The images I'm going to show are from archival HST images taken using WFPC2 (PI Brodie project 6554), I have produced a colour image of the galaxy, though I have cheated somewhat, as I only had access to two filters the F555W and the F814W, which I am going to treat as blue and red respectively, I'm then going to use an average of the two as the green channel. The downside is you're pretty much guaranteed to get something that looks red or blue, still this is interesting in itself, as blue galaxies tend to be young and red ones old. So here is the image.



You can see the centre of the galaxy is located towards the top left of the image, the diffuse glow around this is the halo of NGC 524, many foreground stars and background galaxies are also obvious. In this image the galaxy looks fairly boring, a very smooth looking ellipical galaxy, however I had seen some hints of something odd going on in the inner regions in some data I had from the Gemini telescopes and decided to investigate it. What I did was to average the images from the blue and red exposures, as this tends to pick out structures and dust in galaxies, this is because dust tends to absorb different amounts of the two wavebands. What I found was this:


First of all you can see that many objects disappear, this is just because they have similar amounts of flux in the blue and red, the centre of the galaxy however doesn't. You can see that some very pretty spiral structure emerges, so you can see that on closer inspection NGC 524 is being observed face-on, the Milky Way would probably look very similar if you stopped forming stars and then looked at it from above the disc after a few Billion years.

7 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Hi, there's a new image of NGC 524 that pretty much details (dust rings) you discovered some years ago.
This galaxy supports the hypothesis that describes the major source of those magnetic and electric fields that ultimately initiate star formation. It starts with the premise - ‘the nuclei of galaxies are asymmetrical’. I acknowledge this claim is not scientifically acceptable.

Most briefly described – Black holes cannot totally merge. (Described elsewhere.) Sometimes only light seconds apart, two and up to a million or more of these bodies orbit each other according to the laws of physics (taking into account the mass and angular momentum of each). While gravity searches endlessly for a harmonious arrangement, conflicting magnetic fields never seek cooperation.

Magnetic fields arise from electrons orbiting in a band or strata very near the surface of each black hole. (This dense zone of electrons assumes a unitary, wave-like configuration.) (These electrons arise from the accretion of matter to the B.H. Should this band/layer of electrons begin to accumulate more particles than that governed by the volume/mass of the black hole, it creeps toward the polar areas where, if this excessive gain continues as in a quasar, the overload will be dispatched as a jet. Asymmetry caused by black hole spin can quench one of the jets.)

Each black hole in a nucleus produces electro magnetic fields by the usual mechanisms. These are intense in the close vicinity, but can and do reach out into the galaxy, and sometimes beyond the visible galaxy. These magnetic fields are instrumental in initiating star formation.

In a nuclear ‘nest’ of black holes each hole is expressing itself. Multiple magnetic fields or lines are formed, break, reconnect, break, and so on. Seemingly chaotic. Occasionally, here and there among and between black holes, these (multiple) fields align, and when unified strike deeply into the galaxy. The composite action shape of these fortified fields determines the configuration of star formation pattern in the outer galaxy. (Scientific heresy.) For example, when these fields are dispatched more or less evenly around the nucleus, the star pattern will be mostly elliptical or spherical. When the nucleus is ‘flattened’ or disk shaped, e.g. NGC 524, or linear the major field(s) will discharge mostly at the tips or edges of the rotating nucleus resulting in a star pattern that is spiral. There are many variations between these two major configurations. In a mature nucleus composed of millions of black holes, in addition to the far exterior star pattern, there most often is a buzz or halo of star formation near the nucleus caused by secondary magnetic fields of lessor strength emanating from those black holes not cooperating with the major expressed fields.

As those major electromagnetic fields emanating from the galactic nucleus ‘roam’ the outer galaxy, often times describing contrarian directions/forces, they frequently connect, break, and reconnect. This forms a point of stimulus for star formation. Many other factors must also be operable. Being that the nucleus of the galaxy is never stable for very long, this action can occur at multiple points in the galaxy. Again, the shape of the overall nucleus favors a certain configuration of magnetic flows/lines, which results in a certain pattern of star formation.
The same mechanism operates with star bursts within the galaxy. In these cases the nucleus of the star burst is young and composed of fewer black holes. These disperse their fields randomly in all directions. Star formation is fairly evenly spaced in all directions.

(The following is not acceptable hypothesis.) Similar to a process called magnetorotional instability, the lashing about or ‘whipping’ of magnetic fields of all strengths in contrarian directions causes the formation and isolation of minute spherical volumes each with a magnetic charge. Called plasmoids, these are very similar to the cavitation

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