A peculiar galaxy known as NGC 660 lies around 45 million light-years away from us. Researchers classify it as a "polar ring galaxy," as it possesses a belt of gas and stars around its center ripped from a near neighbor about one billion years ago.
A cosmic rarity, only about a dozen more of these galaxies have been discovered since 1978. NGC 660’s polar ring does not appear in this image, but it contains other features that make it interesting to astronomers. Its central bulge lies strangely off-kilter and, even more intriguingly, researchers believe it may harbor exceptionally large amounts of dark matter.
In late 2012, astronomers observed a massive outburst emanating from NGC 660 around ten times as bright as a supernova explosion, possibly caused by a jet shooting out of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy.
December 5th 1901: Disney born
On this day in 1901, Walt Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois. Disney went on to found the Walt Disney Company in 1923, which helped to establish the American animation industry. The company was very successful, creating many beloved characters whose popularity endures, such as Mickey Mouse. Disney later expanded his media empire to theme parks, establishing Disneyland in 1955. Disney died from lung cancer in 1966, but his legacy continues in the continued success and cultural prevalence of the Disney company.