Shrouded Starburst in the Galaxy Merger II Zw 096

Spitzer_sig10-023a_1024

spitzer_sig10-023a November 18th, 2010

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI/H. Inami (SSC/Caltech)

AA brilliant burst of star formation is revealed in this image combining observations from NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes. The collision of two spiral galaxies, has triggered this luminous starburst, the brightest ever seen taking place far away from the centers, or nuclei, of merging galaxies.

The merging galaxies, known collectively as II Zw 096, can be clearly seen at shorter wavelengths of light from Hubble. Light spanning the far-ultraviolet through the near-infrared is rendered in blue hues.

The real action in this galactic train wreck jumps out in Spitzer's mid-infrared view, represented in red. The brightest glow is from a tiny region which may be as small as 700 light-years across - just a tiny portion of the full 50,000 light-year extent of II Zw 096. This region blasts out 80 percent of the infrared light from this galactic tumult. The surrounding shroud of dust renders the stars here nearly invisible in other wavelengths of light.

Researchers were surprised to see such a brilliant infrared glow in an area so far offset from the center of the merging spiral galaxy. Starbursts are often found crammed into the very centers of merging galaxies, but this is the brightest starburst ever seen outside a galaxy's nucleus. Based on Spitzer data, researchers estimate the starburst is cranking out stars at the breakneck pace of around 100 solar masses, or masses of our Sun, per year.

In this combined image, Hubble's far-ultraviolet and visible light at wavelengths of 0.15 and 0.44 microns is shown as blue, and the near infrared light at 0.9 microns is cyan. Spitzer's infrared light at 4.5 microns is represented by orange, and the mid-infrared light at 8.0 and 24 microns is red.

Provider: Spitzer Space Telescope

Image Source: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/3431-sig10-023a-Shrouded-Starburst-in-the-Galaxy-Merger-II-Zw-096

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: Public Domain

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
II Zw 096
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy > Type > Interacting
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
Galaxy > Activity > Starburst
Galaxy > Grouping > Pair

Distance

Universescale3
525,000,000 light years
Spitzer_sig10-023a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 20h 57m 24.3s
DEC = 17° 7’ 40.3”
Orientation
North is up
Field of View
1.5 x 1.5 arcminutes
Constellation
Delphinus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (SBC) Ultraviolet (Far-UV) 140.0 nm
Blue Hubble (ACS) Optical (B-band) 440.0 nm
Cyan Hubble (ACS) Infrared (I-band) 900.0 nm
Orange Spitzer (IRAC) Infrared (Near-IR) 4.5 µm
Red Spitzer (IRAC) Infrared (Mid-IR) 8.0 µm
Red Spitzer (MIPS) Infrared (Mid-IR) 24.0 µm
Spectrum_ir1
Blue
Blue
Cyan
Orange
Red
Red
Spitzer_sig10-023a_1280
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ID
sig10-023a
Subject Category
C.5.1.7.   C.5.1.1.   C.5.3.3.   C.5.5.1.  
Subject Name
II Zw 096
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI/H. Inami (SSC/Caltech)
Release Date
2010-11-18
Lightyears
525,000,000
Redshift
0.036
Reference Url
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/3431-sig10-023a-Shrouded-Starburst-in-the-Galaxy-Merger-II-Zw-096
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble, Hubble, Hubble, Spitzer, Spitzer, Spitzer
Instrument
SBC, ACS, ACS, IRAC, IRAC, MIPS
Color Assignment
Blue, Blue, Cyan, Orange, Red, Red
Band
Ultraviolet, Optical, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Far-UV, B-band, I-band, Near-IR, Mid-IR, Mid-IR
Central Wavelength
140, 440, 900, 4500, 8000, 24000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
314.3511966, 17.1278513
Reference Dimension
1800.0, 1800.0
Reference Pixel
880, 865
Scale
1.38802e-05, 1.3880173e-05
Rotation
0.04
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
Public Domain
Publisher
Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
sig10-023a.tif
Metadata Date
2011-09-01
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

×
Universescalefull
525,000,000 light years