Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Arp 81: 100 Million Years Later
Posted on 04/23/2014 7:04:44 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: From planet Earth, we see this strongly distorted pair of galaxies, cataloged as Arp 81, as they were only about 100 million years after their close encounter. The havoc wreaked by their mutual gravitational interaction during the encounter is detailed in this color composite image showing twisted streams of gas and dust, a chaos of massive star formation, and a tidal tail stretching for 200 thousand light-years or so as it sweeps behind the cosmic wreckage. Also known as NGC 6622 (left) and NGC 6621, the galaxies are roughly equal in size but are destined to merge into one large galaxy in the distant future, making repeated approaches until they finally coalesce. Located in the constellation Draco, the galaxies are 280 million light-years away. Even more distant background galaxies can be spotted in this sharp, reprocessed, image from Hubble Legacy Archive data.
(Excerpt) Read more at 188.8.131.52 ...
[Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing - Martin Pugh]
Wonder what star gazing would be from within that duo.
But then, with such cosmological chaos, the development of life probably never gets very far along.
Wow! 280 million years ago, these two galaxies looked like this. Here’s hoping that they joined amicably and are now only one galaxy, as predicted by APOD.
Beautiful photo. Thanks for the share.
Did you mean to comment on JoeProBono’s rendition of the galaxies in Post #4? [smiles]
I also wonder what the sky looks like from a planet orbiting a star in that long tidal tail. Not many nearby stars except for the strip of the tail.
I’d guess the tail would look a bit like our milky way, and that there would be frequent comets from the gravitational shredding of the local Oort clouds.
If one were near the end of the tail the tail would look like a scimitar being swung at one’s throat, with the main galaxy blob looking like the entity swinging it, that and a night sky punctuated by cometary daggers, and the surface rocked by frequent impacts, leads me to suspect they’d be muslims...
I think the two galaxies themselves would look like a pair of big eyeballs passing over your head every night,