Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day
Posted on 04/25/2011 7:04:50 AM PDT by paul in cape
Peculiar Galaxies of Arp 273
Explanation: The spiky stars in the foreground of this sharp cosmic portrait are well within our own Milky Way Galaxy.
The two eye-catching galaxies lie far beyond the Milky Way, at a distance of over 300 million light-years. Their distorted appearance is due to gravitational tides as the pair engage in close encounters.
Cataloged as Arp 273 (also as UGC 1810), the galaxies do look peculiar, but interacting galaxies are now understood to be common in the universe. In fact, the nearby large spiral Andromeda Galaxy is known to be some 2 million light-years away and approaching the Milky Way.
Arp 273 may offer an analog of their far future encounter. Repeated galaxy encounters on a cosmic timescale can ultimately result in a merger into a single galaxy of stars.
From our perspective, the bright cores of the Arp 273 galaxies are separated by only a little over 100,000 light-years.
The release of this stunning vista celebrates the 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit.
Another beauty from Hubble. Link HERE
FYI: ONE light year, the *distance* light travels in a year at its constant speed of 186,000 miles per second, works out to about 6 TRILLION miles. Thanks for the post!
What? No....stay away!
Awesome picture, btw.
If you were on some planet within one of these 300 million light year distant galaxies (at this very moment) looking back at Earth, you would see dinosaurs! Assuming of course there were a telescope with capabilities to make out the images (there isn’t).
They would see amphibians.
You’re both correct. Don’t know how I screwed that up.
Just 6 TRILLION? Thats not alot compared to our national debt...
300 million years ago, of course, was the transition between the Permian and Carboniferous.
Pretty good depth of field, considering.
Objects moving across the light signal, I don’t think, would effect it very much, unless they were sufficiently massive to gravitationally distort the image. However, there are examples where the light from far distant quasars is “intercepted” by enormous clouds of hydrogen gas between us and the quasars. The light still manages to get through, but various spectral lines are absorbed by the gas. Many batches of absorption lines, each representing a different cloud of gas at a different distance from Earth, can be seen in the spectral signature of the quasar light.
See “Lyman-alpha forest”
Incredible image! Thanks!
14 TRILLION and counting...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.