NGC 5474 – a Peculiar Dwarf Galaxy

NGC 5474 – a Peculiar Dwarf Galaxy

NGC 5474 is a strange dwarf galaxy located in the constellation Ursa Major. It is a galaxy in the Ursa Major constellation. It is one of numerous companion galaxies of the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101), a spiral galaxy with a spectacular shape. It is classed as a dwarf irregular galaxy, which means it does not have a distinct structure like spiral or elliptical galaxies. This galaxy is the closest to the Pinwheel Galaxy itself among its companions. It instead displays chaotic, uneven patterns of stars and gas.

Key characteristics of NGC 5474:

  • Type: Dwarf Irregular Galaxy
  • Constellation: Ursa Major
  • Right Ascension: Approximately 14 hours 5 minutes
  • Declination: Approximately +53 degrees
  • Distance from Earth: Estimated to be around 22.5 million light-years away
  • Size: It has an apparent size of about 6.9 x 5.3 arc minutes, corresponding to a physical size of around 35,000 light-years.

The galaxy is relatively young and actively creating new stars, as shown by the presence of gas clouds and star-formation areas within its structure. The gravitational interaction between NGC 5474 and the Pinwheel Galaxy has greatly deformed the former. As a result, the disc is displaced from the nucleus. The star formation in this galaxy (as detected by hydrogen spectral line emission) is also displaced from the nucleus. These dwarf irregular galaxies are crucial in the study of galaxy formation and evolution because they provide insights into the early phases of galaxy development.

The spiral structure of NGC 5474 is seen. As a result, this galaxy is frequently classed as a dwarf spiral galaxy, which is a somewhat uncommon type of dwarf galaxy. Its interactions with other galaxies are likewise well known. It is a member of the M101 Group, which includes the famed spiral galaxy M101 (commonly known as the Pinwheel Galaxy). Neighbouring galaxies’ interactions and gravitational impacts can have a substantial impact on the evolution of dwarf galaxies like NGC 5474.