VIMOSs last embrace

Eso_potw1821a_1024

eso_potw1821a May 21st, 2018

Credit: ESO/Juan Carlos Muñoz

Two spiral galaxies are locked in a spellbinding, swirling dance in this image from the VIMOS instrument on ESOs Very Large Telescope (VLT). The two interacting galaxies NGC 5426 and NGC 5427 together form an intriguing astronomical object named Arp 271, the subject of this, the final image captured by VIMOS before it was decommissioned on 24 March 2018. VIMOS or, in full, the VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph was active on the VLT for an impressive 16 years. During that time it helped scientists to uncover the wild early lives of massive galaxies, observe awe-inspiring triple-galaxy interactions, and explore deep cosmic questions such as how the Universes most massive galaxies grew so large. Instead of focusing on single objects, VIMOS was able to capture detailed information about hundreds of galaxies at once. This sensitive instrument collected the spectra of tens of thousands of galaxies throughout the Universe, showing how they formed, grew, and evolved. Arp 271 is framed against a backdrop of distant galaxies in this view, and wisps of bluish gas, dust and young stars can be seen bridging the gap between the two galaxies a result of their mutual gravitational interaction. Like many astronomical observations, this image looks back in time. Thanks to the vast gulf of space separating the Earth and Arp 271, this image shows how the galaxies looked over 110 million years ago: the amount of time it has taken their light to reach us. This kind of collision and merger is also thought to be the eventual fate of the Milky Way, which scientists believe will undergo a similar interaction with our neighbouring galaxy Andromeda.

Image Source: https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1821a/

Curator: European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Arp 271 NGC 5426 NGC 5427
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy > Type > Interacting
Eso_potw1821a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 14h 3m 25.6s
DEC = -6° 3’ 1.6”
Orientation
North is 90.0° CCW
Field of View
10.2 x 6.8 arcminutes
Constellation
Virgo

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Very Large Telescope (VIMOS) Optical (B) 447.0 nm
Arrow_left_green Very Large Telescope (VIMOS) Optical (V) 640.0 nm
Arrow_left_red Very Large Telescope (VIMOS) Optical (R) 750.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Eso_potw1821a_1280
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ID
potw1821a
Subject Category
C.5.1.7  
Subject Name
Arp 271, NGC 5426, NGC 5427
Credits
ESO/Juan Carlos Muñoz
Release Date
2018-05-21T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1821a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Very Large Telescope, Very Large Telescope, Very Large Telescope
Instrument
VIMOS, VIMOS, VIMOS
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
B, V, R
Central Wavelength
447, 640, 750
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
210.856675635, -6.05043649933
Reference Dimension
3000.0, 2000.0
Reference Pixel
1167.0, 933.0
Scale
-5.6903678404445129E-05, 5.6903678404445129E-05
Rotation
90
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Position
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
European Southern Observatory
URL
http://www.eso.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
European Southern Observatory
Publisher ID
eso
Resource ID
potw1821a
Metadata Date
2018-06-01T14:41:30+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.