New York, Jan 5, 2017: Researchers have spotted for the first time an extremely rare type of galaxy whose elliptical-like core is surrounded by two circular rings.
Approximately 359 million light years away from the Earth, the galaxy appears to belong to a class of rarely observed, Hoag-type galaxies, the researchers said.
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“Less than 0.1 per cent of all observed galaxies are Hoag-type galaxies,” said lead author Burcin Mutlu-Pakdil from the University of Minnesota at Duluth in the US.
Hoag-type galaxies are round cores surrounded by a circular ring, with nothing visibly connecting them.
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The majority of observed galaxies are disc-shaped like our own Milky Way.
Galaxies with unusual appearances give astronomers unique insights into how galaxies are formed and change.
The researchers collected multi-waveband images of the galaxy, which is easily observable only in the Southern Hemisphere, using a large diameter telescope in the Chilean mountains.
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These images were used to determine the age of the two main features of the galaxy, the outer ring and the central body.
While the researchers found a blue and young (0.13 billion years) outer ring, surrounding a red and older (5.5 billion years) central core, they were surprised to uncover evidence for second inner ring around the central body.
To document this second ring, researchers took their images and subtracted out a model of the core.
This allowed them to observe and measure the obscured, second inner ring structure, according to a study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
“We’ve observed galaxies with a blue ring around a central red body before, the most well-known of these is Hoag’s object. However, the unique feature of this galaxy is what appears to be an older diffuse red inner ring,” said the co-author of the study, Patrick Treuthardt, an astrophysicist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
Galaxy rings are regions where stars have formed from colliding gas.
“The different colours of the inner and outer ring suggest that this galaxy has experienced two different formation periods,” Mutlu-Pakdil said.
Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.
After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.
However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.
According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.
Google was yet to comment on the new development.
Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.
“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.
“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.
On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.
While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.
Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.
Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)