Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stephan's Quintet Plus One
Posted on 03/26/2014 10:41:09 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: The first identified compact galaxy group, Stephan's Quintet is featured in this remarkable image constructed with data drawn from Hubble Legacy Archive and the Subaru Telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea. The galaxies of the quintet are gathered near the center of the field, but really only four of the five are locked in a cosmic dance of repeated close encounters taking place some 300 million light-years away. The odd man out is easy to spot, though. The interacting galaxies, NGC 7319, 7318A, 7318B, and 7317 have a more dominant yellowish cast. They also tend to have distorted loops and tails, grown under the influence of disruptive gravitational tides. The mostly bluish galaxy, NGC 7320, is in the foreground about 40 million light-years distant, and isn't part of the interacting group. Still, captured in this field above and to the left of Stephan's Quintet is another galaxy, NGC 7320C, that is also 300 million light-years distant. Of course, including it would bring the four interacting galaxies back up to quintet status. Stephan's Quintet lies within the boundaries of the high flying constellation Pegasus. At the estimated distance of the quintet's interacting galaxies, this field of view spans over 500,000 light-years.
(Excerpt) Read more at 220.127.116.11 ...
[Image Assembly & Processing: Robert Gendler and Judy Schmidt; Image Data: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Legacy Archive, R. Gendler]
GOSH, THAT’S JUST ASTOUNDINGLY BEAUTIFUL!
Thank you so much, SunkenCiv!
this week’s Cosmos mentioned at one point in the future our galaxy would merge/collide with another (I think it was Andromeda?). Animations are ok to explain the concept, but it’s really neat to see the phenomena happening elsewhere in ‘real time’. Thanks!
Well what we see in the photo happened 300 million years ago. It has taken the photons along time to reach earth.
Telescopes in a way are time machines.
Fascinating. Dancing galaxies!
The double galaxy looks like an elf’s face, and the triangle formed looks like the little paper clip helper in the old Word program.
Sorry! It’s what I see.
This Quintet plays “The Music of the Spheres” at the galactic level ;)