May 21, 2024


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A distorted spiral galaxy and a pair of small galaxies “Arp 72” imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. Space Portal website sorae

A distorted spiral galaxy and a pair of small galaxies “Arp 72” imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. Space Portal website sorae

This is Arp 72, an interacting galaxy located about 160 million light-years away in the constellation Serpent. Interacting galaxies is a term used to refer to multiple galaxies that exert a gravitational influence on each other by passing each other or colliding with each other. Some interacting galaxies have shapes greatly distorted by tidal forces, or have spiral arms that extend like long tails.


Of the two galaxies that make up Arp 72, the large spiral galaxy in the center of the image is called “NGC 5996,” and the small galaxy at the bottom left is called “NGC 5994.” According to the European Space Agency (ESA), the size of NGC 5996 is roughly comparable to the size of the Milky Way, whose disk diameter is about 100,000 light-years, but the distance between the two galaxies is about 67,000 light-years. It is said that the distance between galaxies is at least 40,000 light-years. This interaction distorts the shape of NGC 5996, making one of its spiral arms appear to be stretched out toward NGC 5994. A faint tail-like structure of stars and gas is also forming from the right side of the image upwards. look at this

This image was created using data acquired by the Hubble Space Telescope's (HST) Advanced Camera for Sky Surveys (ACS). The recent observations of Arp 72 by the Hubble Space Telescope are part of an effort to search for galaxies that could be the subject of future detailed observations by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) or by the Hubble Space Telescope itself, and were carried out in January. 2022.

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In addition to the Hubble Space Telescope's ACS, optical observation data from the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) mounted on the Blanco 4M telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory were used to create the images. As the name suggests, DECam is an observing device developed for the main purpose of searching for dark energy, and observations for the original purpose of dark energy research were made from 2013 to 2019. Ta.

The European Space Agency published the first image as the “Hubble Space Telescope Image of the Week” on April 1, 2024.


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