NGC 1531/2: Interacting Galaxies

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#68659 by @ 02.03.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
NGC 1531/2: Interacting Galaxies


Explanation:
This dramatic image of an
interacting pair of galaxies was made using 8-meter
Gemini
South telescope at
Cerro Pachon,
Chile.

NGC 1531 is the background galaxy with a bright core just above center and
NGC 1532 is the foreground
spiral galaxy
laced with dust lanes.

The pair is about 55 million
light-years away in the southern constellation Eridanus.

These galaxies lie close enough together so that each feels
the influence of the other's
gravity.

The gravitational
tug-of-war has triggered
star formation
in the foreground spiral as evidenced by the young,
bright blue star clusters
along the upper edge of the front
spiral arm.

Though the spiral galaxy in
this pair is viewed nearly edge-on, astronomers believe the system is similar to the face-on spiral and companion known as
M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy.




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