VIMOS image of galaxy NGC 4993 showing the visible-light counterpart to a merging neutron star pair

This image from the VIMOS instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile shows the galaxy NGC 4993, about 130 million light-years from Earth. The galaxy is not itself unusual, but it contains something never before witnessed, the aftermath of the explosion of a pair of merging neutron stars, a rare event called a kilonova (seen just above and slightly to the left of the centre of the galaxy). This merger also produced gravitational waves and gamma rays, both of which were detected by LIGO-Virgo and Fermi/INTEGRAL respectively.

Credit:

ESO/A.J. Levan, N.R. Tanvir

About the Image

Id:eso1733b
Type:Observation
Release date:16 October 2017, 16:00
Related releases:eso1733
Size:2211 x 1665 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 4993
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Elliptical
Constellation:Hydra
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.1 MB
Screensize JPEG
177.3 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
186.7 KB
1280x1024
346.9 KB
1600x1200
546.0 KB
1920x1200
717.7 KB
2048x1536
1006.8 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):13 9 47.63
Position (Dec):-23° 23' 2.08"
Field of view:7.61 x 5.73 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.1° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
U
370 nmVery Large Telescope
VIMOS
Optical
R
646 nmVery Large Telescope
VIMOS
Optical
Z
935 nmVery Large Telescope
VIMOS

 

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