Using NASA’s Fermi Space Telescope, scientists have discovered a distant galaxy called TXS 0128 plus 554, according to foreign news agency BGR. The galaxy looks a lot like the famous fictional Ship TIE fighter from Star Wars. The galaxy is about 500 million light-years from Earth.
Scientists discovered the galaxy using the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, which emits radio waves in a very unique pattern. The potential “wings” of the TIE fighter are thought to be caused by energy spewing from the center of the galaxy, which is likely to be a black hole.
“After announcing Fermi’s discovery, we used VLBA’s radio antenna to enlarge the galaxy a million times and shape it over time,” said Matthew Lister, lead author of a study of galaxies published in the Astrophysical Journal. “When I first saw the results, I immediately thought it looked like Darth Vadd’s TIE fighter in Star Wars 4: A New Hope. This is an interesting surprise, but its appearance at different radio frequencies has also helped us learn more about how active galaxies change dramatically on a 10-year time scale. “
While images from Fermi show the shape of radio emissions well, NASA’s own computer rendering gives us a new look that explains why one “wing” of a galaxy is larger than the other. “The real-world universe is three-dimensional, but when we look into space, we usually see only two dimensions,” explains Daniel Homan, co-author of the study. “In this case, we’re lucky because from our point of view, the galaxy’s angle is this, and light from the farther parts is decades more light-forward than light from the nearer part to reach us. This means that we see the farther part in the early stages of its evolution. “