Asked by Sam Harwood
Yes, in 2012 astronomers discovered the very unusual rectangular dwarf galaxy LEDA 074886, which rests 70 million light years away and was imaged by the ground-based Japanese Subaru Telescope. It’s quite an exciting find since galaxies in general don’t usually take on a shape like this. At first, astronomers thought that its weird structure could be explained by gravitational lensing, a phenomenon in space where matter bends light, making objects appear to be magnified. However, it’s now suspected that the dwarf galaxy was made by the collision between other galaxies in its local group.
Combined with its odd shape, LEDA 074886’s internal stellar disc is aligned in such a way that it appears edge-on to us here on Earth – that means we’re unable to check for sure if it has a spiral structure or not.
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