Colliding galaxies

Esahubble_potw1909a_1024

esahubble_potw1909a March 4th, 2019

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Adamo et al.

Located in the constellation of Hercules, about 230 million light-years away, NGC 6052 is a pair of colliding galaxies. They were first discovered in 1784 by William Herschel and were originally classified as a single irregular galaxy because of their odd shape. However, we now know that NGC 6052 actually consists of two galaxies that are in the process of colliding. This particular image of NGC 6052 was taken using the Wide Field Camera 3 on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. A long time ago gravity drew the two galaxies together into the chaotic state we now observe. Stars from within both of the original galaxies now follow new trajectories caused by the new gravitational effects. However, actual collisions between stars themselves are very rare as stars are very small relative to the distances between them (most of a galaxy is empty space). Eventually things will settle down and one day the two galaxies will have fully merged to form a single, stable galaxy. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, will undergo a similar collision in the future with our nearest galactic neighbour, the Andromeda Galaxy. Although this is not expected to happen for around 4 billion years so there is nothing to worry about just yet. This object was previously observed by Hubble with its old WFPC2 camera. That image was released in 2015.

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1909a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, None, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
NGC 6052
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy > Type > Interacting
Esahubble_potw1909a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 16h 5m 12.5s
DEC = 20° 32’ 30.4”
Orientation
North is 45.0° CCW
Field of View
1.6 x 1.3 arcminutes
Constellation
Hercules

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Optical (U) 336.0 nm
Arrow_left_cyan Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Optical (B) 438.0 nm
Arrow_left_green Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Optical (V) 555.0 nm
Arrow_left_red Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Optical (H-alpha) 665.0 nm
Arrow_left_red Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_cyan
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Arrow_top_red
Esahubble_potw1909a_1280
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ID
potw1909a
Subject Category
C.5.1.7  
Subject Name
NGC 6052
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Adamo et al.
Release Date
2019-03-04T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1909a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3
Color Assignment
Blue, Cyan, Green, Red, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
U, B, V, H-alpha, I
Central Wavelength
336, 438, 555, 665, 814
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None, None, None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
241.302222113, 20.5417849563
Reference Dimension
2449.0, 1940.0
Reference Pixel
1224.5, 970.0
Scale
-1.10033519882e-05, 1.10033519882e-05
Rotation
45.019999999999968
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
http://www.spacetelescope.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
None
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
potw1909a
Metadata Date
2018-09-25T12:56:35+02:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.