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Located in Pisces, NGC 660 is an unusual polar ring galaxy about 45 million light years distant.

Polar ring galaxies have two distinct systems, the host galaxy and the polar ring. It is believed that it was formed a billion years ago after it collided with another galaxy, or, perhaps, it started as a disk galaxy and then collected additional matter from a passing galaxy.

The outer ring is tilted 60 degrees relative to the central galaxy and contains many red and blue supergiant stars with many newly created stars. The central region shows detailed structures in the dust lanes and has a significant amount of star formation. It is also thought to harbour vast amounts of dark matter. In 2012 a very high energy outburst near the galaxy’s centre was detected, possibly from a black hole.

The LRGB image was taken by my Esprit 150 and represents about 14 hours integration time.

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