Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day
Posted on 02/24/2008 5:19:41 PM PST by sig226
Explanation: These two mighty galaxies are pulling each other apart. Known as " The Mice" because they have such long tails, each spiral galaxy has likely already passed through the other. They will probably collide again and again until they coalesce. The long tails are created by the relative difference between gravitational pulls on the near and far parts of each galaxy. Because the distances are so large, the cosmic interaction takes place in slow motion -- over hundreds of millions of years. NGC 4676 lies about 300 million light-years away toward the constellation of Bernice's Hair (Coma Berenices) and are likely members of the Coma Cluster of Galaxies. The above picture was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys which is more sensitive and images a larger field than previous Hubble cameras. The camera's increased sensitivity has imaged, serendipitously, galaxies far in the distance scattered about the frame.
That is one awesome photo. It’s especially awesome when you consider the almost unimaginable sizes and distances represented in the entire field of view.
Can you imagine being a sentient being living in that galaxy? I can’t.
Please excuse my ignorance, but here’s my question. If the universe started from a single point (Big Bang), and all matter is moving away from this central point, how is it possible for two galaxies to collide?
Mass is not distributed uniformly in the universe. Instead of a Slurpie, it’s more like a drink with ice cubes in it. The gravity of two galaxies can be enough to draw them together even though the universe is spreading them apart.
We’ve got our local neighborhood of slurpee galaxies.
What’s a few extra galaxies thrown in the shot.
To them nothing ever changes I imagine.
Let’s hope the coming Hubble mission is a complete success.
Anybody know what Telescope is in the works that is going to replace the capabilities of this one?
(Meaning the one with the pretty pictures)
What an incredible picture. Thanks.
In the next few years an enormous (16 meter) optical telescope is due to be finished. It will be ground based but will be using some type of adaptive optics to overcome atmospheric distortions.
From what I’ve read it will put anything in existence to shame and is expected to give us our first direct views of some exoplanets.
All galaxies are moving away from each other except for those that are moving toward each other.