NGC 660 lies in the constellation Pisces and is over 44 million light-years away! Its peculiar appearance marks it as one of the rare galaxies of the type “polar ring galaxy”. These galaxies have a substantial population of stars, gas, and dust orbiting in rings nearly perpendicular to the plane of the galactic disk. This is what we see as a black “X” at its core, these are the arms crossing over each other from our point of view of earth.

The bizarre-looking configuration could have been caused by the chance capture of material from a passing galaxy by a disk galaxy, with the captured debris eventually strung out in a rotating ring.
Further, this galaxy holds a ton of active regions, meaning regions where new stars are forming and born.

Late in 2012, this polar-ring galaxy produced an enormous outburst having a magnitude of approximately ten times brighter than a supernova explosion. The cause is not certain, but this event may have resulted from a tremendous jet being emenating from galaxy’s central black hole.

Taken with the Canon 7D Mark II, the GSO RC8″ (1620mm, f/8), the Celestron AVX and the ZWO ASI224MC as off-axis guider
60x600s stacked and processed in PixInsight

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