A cosmic hit and run

This Picture of the Week shows the Vela ring galaxy, visible as a bright core surrounded by a baby blue halo. This ring galaxy — located in the southern constellation of Antlia (The Pump) — is notable due to its compact core and large circular belt of gas and stars.

It is thought that ring galaxies like this are created when larger galaxies are punctured by a smaller galactic aggressor, which, passing through the heart of its more sizeable victim, triggers a shock wave that spreads outwards. This pushes gas to the galaxy’s periphery, where it begins to collapse and form new stars. The Vela ring galaxy is unusual in that it actually exhibits at least two rings, suggesting that the collision was not a recent one.

This picture also features a galaxy known as ESO 316-33, seen just above and to the left of the Vela ring galaxy, and a bright star known as HD 88170.

Credit:

ESO. Acknowledgements: Jean-Christophe Lambry

About the Image

Id:potw1619a
Type:Observation
Release date:9 May 2016, 06:00
Size:2032 x 2032 px

About the Object

Name:ESO 316-33, HD 88170, VELA RING Galaxy
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Ring
Constellation:Antlia
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.2 MB
Screensize JPEG
202.9 KB

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Coordinates

Position (RA):10 9 7.26
Position (Dec):-38° 24' 32.33"
Field of view:12.77 x 12.35 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.0° left of vertical

 

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