Pretty Pictures of the Cosmos: Interacting Galaxies
Posted By Adam Block
02-07-2014 10:27 CDT
What will happen when we, in our Milky Way Galaxy, make a first pass with our ever-closing neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy? Arp 293 might very well be the result:
The Schulman Telescope reveals, perhaps for the first time as a full color image, the intimate details of this interaction. These two spiral galaxies are becoming extremely distorted with the upper member's central disk being warped dramatically. Don't miss the very strange elliptical-shell galaxy (PGC 59348) near the bottom right of the field (probably also captured for the first time).
The above is a scene that includes other galaxies. Here is the pair:
What happens when you combine a spiral galaxy with an elliptical galaxy? Although it may sound like a punch-line should follow, NGC 6340 appears to be the result:
Over the years this lenticular galaxy has been studied by astronomers due to its distinctly different populations of stars. Most likely this galaxy was formed by the collision of two and has slowly been evolving into form we see today. IC 1254 to the upper left also seems to be in the midst of collision by virtue of the large (faint) plume associated with it. This image may be the deepest high resolution color image of these galaxies to be published to-date.