HomeScience and Nature Hubble Space Telescope Observes Peculiar Galaxy Merger

Hubble Space Telescope Observes Peculiar Galaxy Merger

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This system of two massive galaxies — located in the southern constellation of Eridanus — is called Arp-Madore 417-391.

Two galaxies in the Arp-Madore 417-391 system (right) form a ring shape, which is narrow and blue, and the cores of the two galaxies form a bulge on the ring’s side. Two smaller spiral galaxies appear left of center as well as a few stars. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / Dark Energy Survey / DOE / FNAL / DECam / CTIO / NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / J. Dalcanton.

Arp-Madore 417-391 resides approximately 670 million light-years away in the constellation of Eridanus in the southern celestial hemisphere.

Also known as AM 417-391, the two galaxies have been distorted by gravity and twisted into a colossal ring, leaving the cores of the two galaxies nestled side by side.

“The Arp-Madore catalogue is a collection of particularly peculiar galaxies spread throughout the southern sky,” Hubble astronomers explained.

“It includes a collection of subtly interacting galaxies as well as more spectacular colliding galaxies.”

The researchers used the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) onboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to observe Arp-Madore 417-391.

“The ACS instrument is optimized to hunt for galaxies and galaxy clusters in the ancient Universe,” they said.

“The camera has been contributing to scientific discovery for 20 years, and throughout its lifetime it has been involved in everything from mapping the distribution of dark matter to studying the evolution of galaxy clusters.”

The color image of Arp-Madore 417-391 was made from separate exposures taken in the visible and near-infrared regions of the spectrum.

Four filters were used to sample various wavelengths. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter.

“This image comes from a selection of Hubble observations designed to create a list of intriguing targets for follow-up observations with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope, as well as other ground-based telescopes,” the scientists said.

“Astronomers chose a list of previously unobserved galaxies for Hubble to inspect between other scheduled observations.”

“Over time, this lets astronomers build up a menagerie of interesting galaxies while using Hubble’s limited observing time as fully as possible.”

In addition to the ACS data, the image includes observations from the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on the Víctor M. Blanco 4-m telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.

Source : Breaking Science News

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