Believe it or not, NASA has just discovered a whole galaxy that looks a lot like a piece of Darth Vader’s fleet.
Thankfully, it is placed 500 million light-years away in the Cassiopeia constellation, so we’ll never have to engage it in a space fight!
NASA published the image of the galaxy TXS 0128+554 on Tuesday, displaying its similarity to a Star Wars TIE fighter.
The galaxy’s center hosts a supermassive black hole, and it emits twin jets of energy.
The starfighter’s similarity became apparent when the Very Long Baseline Array network analyzed radio signals from the galaxy.
Some frequencies made it appear like it’s preparing to dock at the Death Star any minute!
A research team analyzing the galaxy published a paper with the detailed findings in the Astrophysical Journal on Tuesday.
The team took observations from various sources, including NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, to develop an advanced picture of the galaxy.
The images depict TXS 0128+554 at an angle that clearly shows the resemblance to Star Wars.
TXS 0128 was qualified as an “active” galaxy because of the amount of extra light it emits, more than what its star can provide alone.
“An active galaxy’s extra energy includes excess radio, X-ray, and gamma-ray light.”
“Scientists think this emission arises from regions near its central black hole, where a swirling disk of gas and dust accumulates and heats up because of gravitational and frictional forces,” they added.
Lead author Mathew Lister, an astronomer from the Purdue University, stated that the TIE appearance “was a fun surprise, but its appearance at different radio frequencies also helped us learn more about how active galaxies can change dramatically on decade time scales.”