A cosmic embrace

In this image, two spiral galaxies, similar in looks to the Milky Way, are participating in a cosmic ballet, which, in a few billion years, will end up in a complete galactic merger — the two galaxies will become a single, bigger one.

Located about 150 million light-years away in the constellation of Canis Major (the Great Dog), NGC 2207 — the larger of the two — and its companion, IC 2163, form a magnificent pair. English astronomer John Herschel discovered them in 1835.

The fatal gravitational attraction of NGC 2207 is already wreaking havoc throughout its smaller partner, distorting IC 2163’s shape and flinging out stars and gas into long streamers that extend over 100,000 light-years. The space between the individual stars in a galaxy is so vast, however, that when these galaxies collide, virtually none of the stars in them will actually physically smash into each other.

This image was captured with the ESO Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (EFOSC2) through three wide band filters (B, V, R). EFOSC2 has a 4.1 x 4.1 arcminute field of view and is attached to the 3.6-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile.

Oikeudet:

ESO

Kuvasta

Tunnistus:ngc2207
Tyyppi:Havainto
Julkaisupäivä:3. joulukuuta 2009 23:18
Koko:1995 x 2005 px

Kohteesta

Nimi:IC 2163, NGC 2207
Tyyppi:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Etäisyys:150 miljoona valovuotta
Constellation:Canis Major
Kategoria:Galaxies

Kuvaformaatit

Suuri JPEG
1,1 MB
Kokoruudun JPEG
184,8 KB

Taustakuvat

1024x768
180,0 KB
1280x1024
321,6 KB
1600x1200
532,6 KB
1920x1200
715,2 KB
2048x1536
821,2 KB

Koordinaatit

Position (RA):6 16 22.14
Position (Dec):-21° 22' 23.25"
Field of view:5.23 x 5.26 arcminutes
Suuntaus:Pohjoinen on 1.8° oikea pystysuuntaan nähden

Värit ja suotimet

KaistaAallonpituusTeleskooppi
Optinen
B
440 nmESO 3.6-metre telescope
EFOSC2
Optinen
V
547 nmESO 3.6-metre telescope
EFOSC2
Optinen
R
643 nmESO 3.6-metre telescope
EFOSC2

 

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