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Antennae Galaxies (NGC 4038)
Phil Van Strien

Antennae Galaxies

 

NGC 4038/NGC 4039 are a pair of interacting galaxies, with the former on the top of the image and the latter on the bottom. It is known collectively as the Antennae Galaxies due to the two large tails of stars, dust, and gas ejected from the collision. They are currently going through a starburst phase, in which the collision of clouds of gas and dust causes rapid star formation. A collision like this is a very possible future for our galaxy, The Milky Way, and our neighboring galaxy Andromeda. For the Antennae galaxies, the two nuclei will eventually combine and will become one large elliptical galaxy.

The image above used a variety of filters to effectively show the arms being ejected as a result of these two galaxies colliding. The image shows a multitude of different colors, due to the different types dust, gas, and stars that are part of these two galaxies. The bright star in the upper right of the image is Tycho 6097:326 which has a magnitude of 8.69. This is the nearest and youngest example of colliding galaxies that have been found. Clouds of gas are seen in bright pink and red, surrounding the bright flashes of blue star-forming regions — some of which are partially obscured by dark patches of dust.

References:

Administrator, NASA. "Antennae Galaxies." NASA. NASA, 30 Nov. 2015. Web. 5 May 2016. <http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1086.html>.

"Antennae Galaxies Reloaded." Hubble Space Telescope. N.p., 11 Nov. 2013. Web. 5 May 2016. <https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1345a/>.

Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antennae_Galaxies.

Right Ascension (J2000) 12:01:52
Declination (J2000) -18:51:52
Filters used B (Blue), C (Clear), R (Red), V (Green)
Exposure x number of images for each filter B, V, R, C (90s x 7)
Image dimension 420x584 pixels; 9.17x12.75 arcminutes
Date/time observed March 16, 2016, 7:33 UT
Distance 181.5 ± 33 Mpc (Wikipedia, Antennae Galaxies)
Scale 53 kpc/arcminute

 

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