Astronomy Picture of the Day



The Antennae

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#90747 by @ 01.07.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
The Antennae


Explanation:

Some 60 million light-years away in the southerly
constellation
Corvus
, two large galaxies
have collided.

But stars in the two galaxies -
NGC 4038
and NGC 4039
- don't collide
in the course of the ponderous, billion year or so
long
event
.

Instead, their large clouds of
molecular
gas
and dust do, triggering furious
episodes of star formation.

Spanning about 500 thousand light-years,
this
stunning view

reveals new star clusters and
matter flung far from the scene
of the accident by gravitational tidal forces.

Of course,
the visual appearance of the far-flung arcing structures
gives the galaxy pair its popular name - The
Antennae.

Recorded in this deep image of the region at the tip of the upper arc
is a tidal dwarf
galaxy
NGC 4038S, formed in the cosmic debris.




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