Hubble sees' unrest 'between three galaxies
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
The Hubble Space Telescope has a spectacular recording of three galaxies that are engaged in a fierce battle that may result in the loss of one of them. The objects, which is at a distance of approximately one hundred million light years from our planet is in the constellation Zuidervis (Piscis Austrinus) are all long time under the influence of each other's gravity and will probably ever merge into a huge and solid system. The images obtained using the famous space telescope, astronomers can help with the mapping of the flows of gas connecting the objects.
The galaxies in question - NGC 7173, NCG 7174 and NGC 717 - are part of the so-called Hickson Compact Group 90, which are named after astronomer Paul Hickson, the small clusters of these systems in the eighties for the first catalog was. NGC 7173 and NGC 7176 are normal elliptical galaxies, in contrast to their companion NGC 7174, not much gas and dust contain. The latter object is a spiral galaxy, whose existence the gravitation battle , a wire is to be hanged. The strong interactions between the three systems have a large amount of stars lost. These objects are now spread across the group.
Astronomers suspect that the stars that are currently still in NGC 7174 is a long time a huge 'island' will form that eventually many tens to hundreds of times as massive as our own will be galaxy, where they caught from the mouth of scientist Ray Sharples, University of Durham in the United Kingdom.
Click here for a larger version of the image.
Source: NASA / ESA