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Cartwheel Galaxy

Cartwheel Galaxy


Interacting galaxy


The ring resulted from a collision between two galaxies that would have been observed for the first time on Earth 200 million years ago. What we see today took 200 million years to develop, based on rate analysis of expanding gases.


Found in the constellation Sculptor in the Southern Hemisphere below Pisces and Cetus

Distance from Earth

500 million light-years


150,000 light-years across (somewhat larger than the Milky Way galaxy)

A blue ring of star formation resulted from a head-on collision between the Cartwheel and a smaller galaxy.

Enlarge Image


"Fast Facts: Cartwheel Galaxy" is a table that lists the name, description, location, size, and distance of the galaxy from Earth. A picture of the galaxy is included.

Printer-friendly web page
Adaptable, at teacher's discretion
How to use in the classroom

Use this resource as:

A source of information. Read the table to find out about this object.

A mapping activity. Locate the galaxy's associated constellation on a star map.

A large-number recognition activity. Have students study this table and other galaxy Fast Fact tables.  Students can order objects based upon their distances from Earth.

An inquiry tool. Have students write down questions they would like answered about the image and the information in the Fast Facts table.

An engagement tool. Involve students in a discussion.

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